Rockstar is finally set to release. Six years after Imtiaz Ali first decided to make the film, it’s ready with the same germ of an idea, but a fresh story and new protagonist. After originally casting John Abraham in the lead role, the director eventually signed on Ranbir Kapoor to play a younger, Delhi-based Jat, as he felt the former didn’t suit the role any longer.
"The story has changed completely," explains Imtiaz, who first thought of making the film in 2005, just after the release of his directorial debut, Socha Na Tha. He adds, "When I took up the film again after the first attempt, I changed the character. I had started off with John, but now, as the story has changed, he was not required. The protagonist is now a Jat from Delhi, and much younger than the previous character."
John, meanwhile, has lent his support to the film despite not making it to the final cast: "Rockstar is Ranbir’s film and it’s coming out great. I don’t want to talk about the past."
Although this is Imtiaz’s second attempt at making the film, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for him this time either. Even as the film gets set to hit theatres this Friday, writer Muazzam Beg, whose story the film was to be based on originally, contends that he has been deprived of credit for penning it. He’s reported to have claimed that Imtiaz may have written a fresh screenplay, but the core story is his, and that deserves to be acknowledged.
But the director plays down the issue, saying, "There is only one point of his story that’s been used this time, and he will be given a much bigger credit than he deserves." Imtiaz maintains that his new screenplay isn’t inspired by his own life either: "There is nothing that has come from my life except for a few points of view perhaps, and some sensitivities. But it’s not, in any way, derived from my personal experiences."
He does, however, feel that owing to his upbringing amidst a musically-inclined culture in east India, his sensitivity for music has grown naturally, and from within, since childhood. He adds, "That too has helped me through this film."