In its third week, Ekta Kapoor’s Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai is rock steady at the box office and speculations are rife about a sequel. Quiz Emraan Hashmi on this and he says, "I’m game but we have to crack a superb concept first, followed by months of pre-production. It’s too premature to announce anything yet."
Will Part 2 be titled Once Upon A Time In Dubai and be Dawood Ibrahim’s story? "It will be Shoaib Khan’s story," he retorts, pointing out that Shoaib starts out as a somewhat vulnerable young man who idolises Sultan Mirza, finds his place in the power game, basks in his newfound success and finally guns down his mentor. "The sequel will take off from that point. We have still to fix on the era but it would most likely be set in the post 1980s."
Hashmi argues that even in Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, despite the parallels drawn, Shoaib’s character was not modelled on Dawood alone. "The look was generic and the muses plenty. And eventually, it was pure fiction," he says, insisting he’s not got any calls from D company, before or after the release, as the buzz goes.
Meanwhile, the star is gearing up for two more sequels. Murder 2 should take off by the end of the year. "We have our concept, it’s smashing stuff," Hashmi exults. "The characters and their stories will be different but, I promise, Part 2 will be an even bigger hit than Murder." Raaz 3 should also start post April 2011.
“We’re toying with the idea of making it in 3D, to take it a notch higher in the horror genre,” Hashmi informs, adding that he will also be a part of Jannat 2 once Kunal Deshmukh has locked the script. “Jannat was a landmark film for me and though Arjun died, his son lives on. Besides, cricket is still a religion in India and its controversies have only gotten bigger in the last two years. Jannat 2 is a viable project.”
Before that, however, Hashmi has another film, Crook—It’s Good To Be Bad, coming up. On the issue of racism, it is about an India boy who goes to Australia chasing after a mirage, only to be torn between the law and standing up for his countrymen.
“After my post-graduation, I wanted to go to the US to study special effects. But then I got into movies, first as an assistant director and then an actor, and life changed,” he reminisces. “May be Raaz 3 will give me a chance to study SFX, sitting in India.”