Bollywood filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma is both amused and slightly taken aback by the views of Amjad Khan's son on his Sholay. Actor-screenwriter-director Shadaab Khan feels Varma shouldn't put his hand in the project.
"First let me say I've the greatest regard for Amjad Khan as an actor. No one can respect Amjad Khan more than me for what he did with Gabbar Singh. But the truth is, after I saw Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan) playing Gabbar I forgot Amjad Khan," Varma told IANS.
"I agree with Shadaab. What he did to Gabbar cannot be encored. But repeating Amjad's act isn't my intention at all. My Sholay isn't being made to be one up on anyone. If Amjad Khan has become legendary as Gabbar, I needed a legendary actor to get into Gabbar's boots."
Reacting to Shadaab's view that the late actor could give his best shot to Gabbar because his back was against the wall, Varma said: "I think great work happens because of the passion to excel, not because of desperation. And when it comes to passion for work Amitji is next to none.
"The richer Amitji got the better his performances got. Unlike some other actors, who started with a bang, Amitji got better rather than inferior with each performance."
The work-driven director claims he is not out to hurt or challenge anyone by remaking the film.
"Neither Amitji nor I are doing Sholay to challenge anyone. My Sholay generates its own heat, creates its own rhythm and atmosphere."
What about the fact that Amitabh's look is being criticised by some? "Amitji is playing a character and the emotion and personality will come through. To judge whether the character works or not, people will have to see the film."