Karan Johar has remade the 1990 action-drama Agneepath with Hrithik Roshan in the lead, but the filmmaker says he and director Karan Malhotra never attempted to recreate the magic of the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer original.
The 39-year-old filmmaker, whose father Yash Johar had produced the earlier film, says they wanted to take the basic core of Agneepath and narrate it an altogether different manner because it was "virtually impossible" to emulate something as powerful as Vijay Deenanth Chauhan.
"How can anyone emulate Amitabh Bachchan? Nobody should do that and it is to Karan Malhotra's intelligence and Hrithik's conviction that they understood it really well and approached the film and the characters in their own way," Johar told PTI.
"What we have done in our version is to pay homage to the yesteryear Agneepath with a great amount of reverence for the genius of Mukul S Anand and Amitabh Bachchan," he added.
As per Johar, the core idea behind that was to stay away from the norms because he didn't want to be accused of just repeating the success formula.
"If we had made Vijay Deenanath Chauhan as just the same character that has been played before, we would have been asked why we played safe. It only made sense for us to worship what had been accomplished instead of trying to impersonate it. It would have been impossible for any actor to get the kind of swagger, style and baritone as Amitabh Bachchan had brought to fore in Agneepath."
When Agneepath was first released, it was an out-and-out action drama. Though the film didn't do well at the box office, it has attained a cult status over the years. How have the commercial elements been taken care of in the 21st century version?
"This is an action film but there is a lot more to it as well. This is very emotionally dramatic film. Action is there but it is mainly a tool to portray drama. Also, an entirely different world that has been created this time around. The Agneepath of today is totally different from the Agneepath of two decades back," said Johar.
In the promos, Hrithik is seemingly subdued when compared to the persona that Amitabh Bachchan had brought on screen, even Sanjay Dutt is remarkably different from Danny Denzongpa as Kaancha Cheena.
"Dutt too admits that with Agneepath, he has been challenged like never before. Every actor looks forward to this kind of acting challenge once in a while and he is ecstatic to be playing Kaancha Cheena here.
"The way he has deconstructed himself as an actor is remarkable. He is so thrilled and didn't blink even once when he had to take his eyebrows off for the role. His very look is so menacing that it would be a treat for the audience," said Johar.