Filmmaker Shashilal Nair is mighty upset that false news about Abhishek Bachchan’s company AB Corp has negotiated and rejected the idea of buying the remake rights of his 1992-movie Angaar, featuring Jackie Shroff, Dimple Kapadia and Nana Patekar. Talk is that Abhishek, who was reportedly to play the lead in the remake, had made a statement that he wouldn’t like to touch a project, which is the remake of a bad project.
“My office was approached, and we’ve had negotiations with a particular party. We were negotiating on the price when one day news flashed that the film’s remake rights have been acquired by AB Corp and Abhishek Bachchan is playing the lead,” rues Shashilal, whose last film, Ek Chhotisi Love Story (2002) with Manisha Koirala grabbed too many headlines for the wrong reasons. The director admits the party in question wasn’t AB Corp. “We were in talks with Endemol, a popular company that produces top fiction and non-fiction shows. Their film division was in talks with me over Angaar’s rights.”
Shashilal to clear the matter went back to the negotiator from Endemol. He recalls that matters became worse when he actually chased the publication to find out the truth behind the speculations. “Endemol approached me appreciating my work. When I took the party to task about how they could move to the press without a formal agreement, they refused that they had spoken to the press. Only when I chased the ‘respected’ publication that ran the story, did they start bad-mouthing Angaar, calling it a worthless project that shouldn’t be remade,” he laments.
Angaar released in 1992 and was a downer at the box-office. But Shashilal is unaffected by that. “I’m proud of the film, it won four awards. I got a National Award for it. So I don’t understand why were they tarnishing my image and my movie’s name,” he fumes adding, “I have never tried to sell its rights in over two decades. I have never been to AB Corp, neither have I met Abhishek.”
When asked about Abhishek’s comments on his project, Shashilal says, “I’m sure Mr Bachchan (Amitabh) or Abhishek are unaware of this. They will never stoop so low. Someone is targeting us at each other’s cost.”