Shabri 2 will have not one but two Isha Koppikars. Lalit Marathe, the film’s writer-director who’s in the process of locking up the script for the sequel that he wants to get rolling at the earliest, says the film will take off from where Part 1 left off. "Shabri was about a woman striving for power. The sequel will be about what she does with this power and what it does to her," points of Lalit.
So, while the focus will continue to be on Shabri, Isha at her deglamorised best, it will also have another woman, this one an ultra glam Isha, whose path crosses that of the underworld don and changes her life. "Isha is a drop-dead beautiful, extremely glamorous woman in real life and it was painful to darken her skin and scale down her looks. So in this film, we’ll showcase her assets too. The lookalike will add an interesting twist to the story and for me personally what’s really exciting is bringing these two characters on screen together, at the same time and in the same frame."
Lalit admits that this is not the only addition to story, some other new characters are expected to make an appearance, along with some unexpected ones from the original. Lalit is also contemplating a change in the location. "Shabri was shot all over Mumbai and exposed its dark underbelly. For the sequel we will explore a new space, a combination of locations in India and abroad, that will add to the mystique and the visual treat," he explains.
Shabri was delayed by almost five years and this Isha believes impacted its box-office performance. That’s the reason she wants to produce the sequel. With her at the helm, will he have an easier time? "Hard to say since I haven’t started working with her yet," says Lalit who surprisingly doesn’t hold against the original producer, Ram Gopal Varma and doesn’t even mind him collaborating with Isha on the project. "RGV is the guy who started it all."
Are there any plans to take the franchise further if Part 2 works commercially? "Hopefully yes, when I started Shabri, I had at least a trilogy in mind," admits Lalit. And will Shabri 3 have three Ishas? He laughs, "I don’t know about that but it will definitely have Isha."