After his hit remake of the Tamil action film Singham (the original starred Surya) with Ajay Devgn, it seems director Rohit Shetty has shifted his focus to ’60s and ’70s Bollywood. He wants to remake hit films of the era, directed by the likes of Vijay Anand and Manmohan Desai.
Shetty says he has wanted to remake Johnny Mera Naam (1970) ever since he was a kid. “I also want to remake Jewel Thief (1967) and Amar Akbar Anthony (1977),” he says. Has he already got the ball rolling by acquiring the rights for these films? “Not yet,” says Rohit, adding, “When I am 100 per cent ready to make those films, I will do the needful. Right now, I’m busy with one film each with Ajay Devgn, Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar with their banners.”
Shetty says his desire to remake these films comes from his childhood fascination with larger-than-life characters and awe-inspiring movies. He says, “I have always been a commercial cinema buff, and have seen Vijay Anand’s Johny Mera Naam (1970) and Teesri Manzil (1966) innumerable times.” Shetty adds, “I live in the ’70s era. I am still that eight-year-old boy sitting in Gaiety-Galaxy watching movies, whose heart still beats faster when the censor certificate is followed by Dev Anand or Amitabh Bachchan’s name on the screen. The magic and innocence in those stories is still alive when you watch them today.”
The director admits he is inspired by both Vijay Anand and Manmohan Desai’s brands of cinema. “Though people moved on to make ‘multiplex films’, I have stuck to the larger-than-life kind of cinema that is inspired by them. Today, everybody wants to make films like Singham. And yet, there is a segment of people who look down upon them without realising that only when films like Golmaal or Rowdy Rathore generate business, can small-budget films be made. That’s how the industry flourishes.”