SRK's Billu inspired by Rajnikant's Kuselan? | india | Hindustan Times
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SRK's Billu inspired by Rajnikant's Kuselan?

The buzz is that Shah Rukh Khan's Billu Barber, now renamed Billu, is inspired by Malayalam hit Katha Parayumbol, which was later made in Tamil as Kuselan. But the film's writer denies any similarity between the movies.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2009 17:40 IST

The buzz is that Shah Rukh Khan's Billu Barber, now renamed Billu, is inspired by Malayalam hit Katha Parayumbol (2007), which was later made in Tamil as Kuselan (2008). But the film's writer denies any similarity between the movies.

"Billu is a completely different film," said Mushtaq Sheikh, co-writer of Billu along with director Priyadarshan.

"When you will see Billu, you will know what I mean. The screenplay of Billu does not follow the route followed by the predecessors," said Sheikh, who was also the co-writer of Shah Rukh's blockbuster Om Shanti Om.

While Mammootty played a superstar in Katha Parayumbol, its Tamil version starred Rajnikant in the same role.

So has the screenplay of Billu been tweaked to make it more suitable for an all-India audience?

"One did not have to tweak it, one had to change it completely. I repeat - this film is a re-birth of Billu (the character in the film). It's a brand new film with no connection with any other film," Sheikh told IANS.

Unlike Katha Parayumbol, "Kuselan" had bombed in spite of Rajnikant's presence.

"How does that affect our film?" asks Sheikh. "There wasn't any doubt or fear in us when we were working on Billu. Kuselan working or not working was never going to hamper the flow of Billu."

Sheikh added that he and Priyadarshan had sat down to give the film a new "touch and feel".

"This movie was made before and here we wanted to make a brand new film keeping the ingrained soul intact. Also, making a Hindi film is a totally different ball game than the ones that are made in the south. The people, the emotions, the landscape, the conflict - everything changes when we make Hindi movies. We knew it was never going to be easy," he makes a candid confession.

He is particularly ecstatic about the fact that with Billu, he could work with his real-life friend Shah Rukh yet again.

"For me Shah Rukh is like a beacon of light that guides me and inspires me. He is like family. He brings in a certain strength to my presence," he said fondly.

Featuring Lara Dutta in the lead with special appearances by Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, Billu also stars Priyadarshan regulars like Asrani, Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav, Manoj Joshi and Rasika Joshi. With music by Pritam, Billu is all set to arrive Feb 13.