Producer Pooja Shetty, who has so far been involved with successful films such as Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti (2010) and Abhishek Sharma’s Tere Bin Laden (2010), insists everything happened “very smoothly and nicely” when she acquired the movie adaptation rights of The Zoya Factor, which till now, were lying untouched with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Productions.
“I had asked Shah Rukh, ‘are you sure you don’t want to adapt the novel? If you want to make it, I won’t pursue it. If not, I will chase for the rights.’ He, in turn, told me, ‘listen, it’s a good book, but we haven’t been able to take it up since we are very busy with other work. And I am not going to be able to do it since I am really busy with other things that I have already committed to. But if you want to make it, I will quickly do whatever paperwork you need,’” she says.
According to Pooja, The Zoya Factor has a very sweet story. “And now that we have the rights, the next step will be developing a screenplay and identifying a director to helm the film, besides taking the casting calls. I will get down to working on it by mid-June or July. It’s got all the elements (of a nice Bollywood film). Aarti (Aarti Shetty; Pooja’s sister) and I haven’t been able to pay attention to it due to other commitments, but we should start making it by early next year,” she adds.