Akshay Khanna’s loss is Abhay Deol's gain | india | Hindustan Times
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Akshay Khanna’s loss is Abhay Deol's gain

Abhay Deol steps into Akshay Khanna’s role of a RAW officer in Basra, which he is also producing. Hiren Kotwani tells more.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2009 18:23 IST
Hiren Kotwani

Looks like Akshay Khanna’s loss has become Abhay Deol’s gain. Deol, who has carved a niche for himself and is venturing into production with his banner, Forbidden Films, is not only producing Navdip Singh’s Basra, but is also acting in it. He replaces Akshaye Khanna as a RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) officer.

After his much-acclaimed debut, Manorama Six Feet Under, director Navdip Singh signed up with Nikhil Advani and Mukesh Talreja to make his second film, Basra. Given Advani’s friendly equations with Khanna, it was only natural that he too was roped in for Singh’s action thriller. But creative differences cropped up between Singh and Advani, as a result of which the director opted out of the project with his script.

Singh denied having any issues with Advani over the casting (reportedly, Singh wanted to cast Emraan Hashmi in the parallel, but Advani was against it), and the producer’s interference in his work. “Our approach to filmmaking was different. The relationship between a producer and a director has to be transparent. You can’t hide things if you are going to make a film together,” is all that the director is willing to reveal.

Soon after Singh opted out, his relationship with Khanna too came to an end. Also, as a result of the film being delayed, he lost out on dates with Madhavan, who had also been finalised. “We’d finalised Maddy. But now that the shooting of Basra has been postponed till January 2010, he couldn’t adjust his dates because he’s already committed them to other projects,” says Singh. He’s looking for a replacement now.

As for the female leads, Chitrangada Singh and Shahana Goswami have been finalised. Singh further adds that nothing will blur his vision as a director. “I’ll still make Basra and shoot it in Iraq, because the story begins there. PVR Pictures is co-producing Basra and I will not make any compromise. I’ll make the film as I had originally planned to,” Singh reiterates.