Master of the thriller Sriram Raghavan, who is set to visit a new genre with an Aishwarya Rai-John Abraham starrer, says like many directors, he too cherishes the thought of working with Bollywood icon Amitbah Bachchan - but doesn't have a suitable script for him.
"Every director in Mumbai wants to work with Mr Bachchan at least once. I also want to work with him but I don't have a script for him right now," Raghavan, who recently made Johnny Gaddar, told IANS.
"I feel the script is the backbone (of the film). If not a bound script, one should have a very strong idea about the treatment of the film. You have to keep working on it. My script for John-Ash is ready but I will do two more drafts before it actually goes on the floor," he added.
About his other favourites, he said: "There are others but it depends on the subject. I don't look at the actors first and then go for a script. If a story suits Shah Rukh Khan, I would love to go and meet him and work with him. Otherwise, I am okay with different casts. I try for the best cast once the story is ready."
An alumnus of Pune's Film and Television Institute of India, Raghavan made his first feature film in 2004. Titled Ek Hasina Thi, the film showcased Urmila Matondkar and Saif Ali Khan in a completely new avatar. Critics and audiences loved the film and the lead actors' performances.
In 2007, he released his critically acclaimed Johnny Gaddar and introduced Neil Nitin Mukesh with the thriller.
Unlike his last two ventures, the John-Ash starrer will be a light film and Raghavan plans to give it a completely different treatment.
"I have made two thrillers that doesn't mean I don't like other genres. I want to do other genres. This film has got shocks and surprises, but it is not a thriller. It is more of a personal story. It doesn't have blood or guns.
"It is not a romantic thriller and it is not a romantic comedy either. It is a different kind of film. I can't give you the plotline right now because it is too early. The film will be released after a year or so I can't talk about it," added the director.
"Like my last two films, this one is also set in Mumbai and Ramesh Sippy is producing it. As for the budget I don't know," Raghavan said.
What of the confusing reports about John-Ash playing the lead in the film.
"The confusion was because they had liked the basic storyline but I hadn't got the script ready. Even then, they agreed to do the film. I had dates of beginning of this year - February-March - but couldn't use them because I hadn't finished the script by then.
"So I pushed the project back. Now, I have to wait for them to be free. I don't know when I will start shooting the film," Raghavan added.
Why Ash and John?
"I'm not casting Aishwarya or John because they are big names. I am casting them because they are right for the film. I won't cast anyone if I don't have the confidence in that person.
"I have taken Aishwarya because she is a good actor. And John has a very likeable presence and I feel that his potential has not been fully exploited," the director maintained.