Bollywood director Ram Gopal Varma is hoping to recreate the enduring magic of the 1975 super hit Sholay with his remake Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, featuring Amitabh Bachchan as the feared dacoit Babban (Gabbar) Singh.
"The original Sholay created an excitement by giving the audience one slammer of a scene after another. I hope to do the same," Varma told IANS.
Varma also confesses his take on Sholay is the "only original film" that he has made so far.
"I haven't made a single original film till Aag. Every scene shot and frame of my earlier films have been copied from some source or the other. It could be a novel, a Hollywood or an old Hindi film."
"If I haven't been caught out it's because people haven't been able to locate my sources. Aag is my first original film."
The film had nothing to do with the underworld, says Varma.
"It's almost a throwback to the kitschy films of the 1970s, like Nasir Husain's Yaadon Ki Baraat or Chori Mera Kaam. It isn't a gangster film nor is it a dacoit drama."
Varma, currently in Hyderabad shooting for the sequel to Sarkar, says he has made Aishwarya look different for Sarkar 2. The film also stars the two Bachchans - Amitabh and Abhishek.
<b1>"Aishwarya plays a very strong part with shades of negative in it. I'm completely changing her image. I'm cutting her beauty down. I've gathered a large supporting cast of ugly people and have put her in the middle, so she'd come out looking stunning in her naturalness."
"Sarkar 2 is far more original than Sarkar. It will have far less of Godfather 2 than Sarkar had of Godfather 1. Sarkar 2 isn't about the mafia. It's a family drama."
In Sarkar 2, Ramu is showcasing the senior and junior Bachchans keeping their image in mind. "Only Aishwarya gets the privilege of revamping her image," Ramu adds.
Ramu feels Amitabh's role in Nishabd, in which he romances a 16-year-old girl, was the actor's most accomplished performance till date.
"I personally think Sarkar was a cakewalk in comparison. To carry off a subject matter like that isn't very easy. However, making Nishabd was a mistake.
"When Cheeni Kum did an old man-young woman love story there was a tongue-in-cheek element to it. Nishabd was too dark. There was resistance against seeing the film."
He ponders: "Mr. Bachchan in Nishabd was over-cast. It should've been done with an actor with a much less strong image. When Victor Bannerjee fell in love with a much younger woman in Joggers' Park, it didn't matter. Whereas there was outrage about Amitabh Bachchan falling in love with his daughter's friend."