Saif Ali Khan and John Abraham are essaying roles on the right side of the law in AgentVinod and Force respectively. But the same actors are high on Sanjay Gupta’s and Ekta Kapoor’s wishlist for their next joint production, ShootoutAtWadala — the much-talked about sequel to the 2007 movie, ShootoutAtLokhandwala. But only one of them will play Manya Surve, the dreaded gangster of the ’70s, who was killed in an encounter in 1981.
A production insider revealed that these actors are being considered because they have the right look for the role. "Both are muscular and well-built, which fits the profile of the character sketch we’re trying to create," adds the source. Interestingly, a considerable part of this fact-cum-fiction hybrid will be borrowed from DongriToDubai, written by crime journalist S Hussain Zaidi. He will also be scripting the film to be helmed by Gupta.
The writer, who also suggested the title to the filmmaker, maintains that he doesn’t have a specific actor in mind for the role, saying, "I’m not a ‘filmi’ person, so I can’t comment on it. That’s the director’s prerogative. He’ll decide on the cast."
On his part, Gupta insists that a lot of actors are being considered: "Other principle characters are as important, like Isaque Bhagwan, who carried out the encounter. He’s as important as Sanjay Dutt’s ACP Khan was in ShootoutAtLokhandwala."
The roles of the city Police Commissioner and Manya’s love interest are also being considered carefully. Gupta reasons, “Back then, Julio Rebeiro was the police chief. And there was a beautiful widow who played an important part in Manya’s life. So it’s necessary to get the casting right.”
Adding that their new movie will be larger than the previous Shootout, the filmmaker relates the importance of the subject, saying, “In the late ’70s, Sabir and Dawood Kaskar gained power to challenge the Pathans, who used to control the city. That’s when a rank newcomer called Manya Surve started his own gang and executed Sabir.”