He looks disheartened when he says this but admits that his directorial venture with Shahid Kapoor and John Abraham has been shelved. "When I started work on my football-themed film, Yahaan Ke Hum Sikandar, the sport was gaining popularity. After that, John did Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal. And then, football also became somewhat unpopular. And now, after so many years, I think I will never complete it, though I was extremely passionate about the script," rues Khan, whose recent release, Paathshaala, bombed at the box office.
Ahmed Khan announced Mazhab, à la Remember The Titans, shortly after his directorial debut, Lakeer, released. But it never took off. His dream project almost came true with the Football World Cup in June 2006 becoming extremely popular in India. He then announced Yahaan Ke Hum Sikandar, with football as the theme. Khan had even planned to consult footballer, Baichung Bhutia, to make his film look and sound authentic. A mahurat (inauguration) was planned with a major international footballer and the film was to be shot in India and abroad.
Yahaan Ke Hum Sikandar was based on the experiences that a football team goes through when playing against an English team. Nana Patekar was to play the coach and Sneha Ullal, Rimii Sen and Ayesha Takia were supposed to be the leading ladies alongside 11 top actors, including John Abraham and Shahid Kapoor. A R Rahman was expected to compose the score.
“John acted in Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal. That film had a very similar plotline. Even if my film is made and released, it will look like a ‘me-too’ project. So, I’ve decided to move on and not make it, ever,” states Khan.
Now, the producer-director-choreographer plans to take a longish break before starting his next film. “I’ve heard a lot of rumours that Shahid and I sat down to edit Paathshaala and give it our touch. Shahid was passionate about his role and was very keen to promote the film with his role. But we didn’t sit down to edit it because if we had, every frame of the film would have looked like the song, Dhan te nan (Kaminey),” states Khan.