Bollywood is preparing itself for a tryst with Urdu literature. Author Syed M Ashraf’s novella, The Beast — Numberdar Ka Neela is set to be adapted into a feature film by director Anusha Rizvi’s younger brother, Ahmed Afzal.
“Yes, I am adapting the book. But I don’t want to rush into making the film just as yet, since it requires careful writing and puts a lot of responsibility on me. It’s something that demands proper planning and effort,” says Ahmed, who plans to visit Delhi, Etah and Farrukhabad before starting work on the adapted screenplay.
He adds, “I keep exchanging notes with Ashraf chacha (the author is his father’s younger brother). But I was impressed with the book when I read it. I knew this is something I would love to see onscreen, that’s how the idea of adapting it into a screenplay came about,” he says.
Meanwhile, author Ashraf maintains that his story can be slightly tweaked for its cinematic adaptation, but insists that the intrinsic theme must not be compromised. “And of course, I will read the drafts to ensure that the screenplay remains true to the original story and successfully conveys the message,” says Ashraf.
The untitled film, however, will not mark Ahmed’s debut directorial. Instead, Lucky Unlucky, starring Mallika Sherawat and Sonu Sood, will be his first film as a director.
His debut will be produced by Sonu Sood Productions and is likely to go on the floors by August-September. As a result of which, the adaptation may only start sometime towards the end of 2013.
“After completing this film, I will take a few months off from Bombay and revisit my roots for some inspiration. Then I will pen the screenplay,” says Ahmed.