Till a few weeks ago, the Blood Money makers and their lead actor were in disagreement over the film’s title. While producer Mahesh Bhatt was keen on calling it Kalyug 2, director Vishal Mahadkar and the film’s star Kunal Khemu were in favour of Blood Money. And though the actor and director won the round, they were probably unaware that Gregory McQualter’s action-thriller with the same title would hit theatres in June.
“When I came up with the title, I had no idea there was a Hollywood film with same title,” says Bhatt. “The phrase ‘blood money’ has diverse connotations in different places. So the title could be the same, but the idea and storyline would be different,” says the veteran filmmaker-writer. Interestingly, filmmaker John Shepphird used the same title in 1997 for his crime thriller that featured James Brolin and Billy Drago.
Bhatt further explains the significance of the title. “For example, in Pakistan Blood Money refers to a settlement that people do when they want to end a long-drawn conflict. In our film, it refers to the huge money in the illegal diamond trade.”
But Bhatt admits that he wanted the film to be called Kalyug 2 because its storyline resembles the structure of the 2005 hit. “But Kunal and Vishal were against it and assured me that they were confident that it would do well with a new title,” he says.
Mahadkar says that Bhatt had got the photo shoot done, as well as made posters, with Kalyug 2 in mind. “But after several long discussions, he finally agreed with us. In fact, he himself came up with the title,” he says. Adds Kunal: “Vishal felt that his film would stand out with a new title because Vishesh Films is also involved with several other franchisees like Murder 3, Jism 2 and Raaz 3. I agreed with him.”