Kunal Deshmukh is bemused by rumours that he’s been approached by Percept to direct the Jannat sequel. “I had just one meeting with Shailendra Singh. He offered me Commissioner and asked if I could start work on the film, immediately,” he says. “I had to refuse because I plan to start shooting my next film for the Bhatts by the end of the year.”
Deshmukh refuses to discuss the project because “it’s too early”. “The focus is on Mohit Suri’s Crook - It’s Good To Be Bad, right now,” he points out, admitting that his film will feature Emraan Hashmi too.In fact, he’s also worked on a concept for Jannat 2 with Hashmi in mind. The sequel will revolve around the theme of greed, set against the wallpaper of cricket and match-fixing. "You can’t take either Emraan or cricket out of Jannat 2," Deshmukh points out. "No one expected anything from Jannat but expectations from Part 2 will be huge. It has to be bigger, bolder and dirtier. The films that followed had real cricketers, the IPL is making headlines today, the bar has been raised. But unfortunately, since the film industry is still recovering from the global slump, we don’t have the kind of budget needed to pull of a lavish Jannat 2."
For now, Deshmukh is concentrating on a story that doesn’t need big stars to draw audiences to theatres. “Today, business is down to one, at the most, two weeks. A film now is like a parachute; if it doesn’t open, you’re dead. So I’m trying to figure out a way of giving my film a guaranteed opening even without many big names.”