Farhan Akhtar's remake of the 1970s Amitabh Bachchan hit Don is 60 per cent complete and is likely to get a Diwali release.
"We are looking at a Diwali release. The film is almost complete," informs Farhan.
"It is a very hectic round-the-clock schedule. We are working like crazy," said Farhan, sounding far less relaxed than he usually does. He's been shooting vigorously in Malaysia.
"Malaysia is almost like a character in my Don. See, the whole point of re-making a classic featuring Bachchan was to give it my own twist. I have tweaked my dad and Salim saab's script a bit.
"The essence of Don remains the same. But in terms of look, mood and flavour, my Don is very different. I'd say it's my homage to the original. Yes, I am very happy with what we have shot so far."
The tuning between Farhan and his leading man Shah Rukh Khan is the talk of tinsel town.
|Farhan Akhtar's remake of the 1970s Amitabh Bachchan hit Don is 60 per cent complete and is likely to get a Diwali release.|
"We were friends from before
. See, both Shah Rukh and I are ardent fans of
and Mr Bachchan. When we finally started working together it was like his enthusiasm combined with mine.
"Shah Rukh's energy level is very infectious. He gives very intelligent suggestions. And since I am always open to suggestions - who says I am not? That is totally untrue -- I enjoy Shah Rukh's inputs.
"We are having a whole lot of fun. Though I must tell you it's a lot of hard work. I can't even begin to describe what it's like."
Talk veers to the much talked about Khaike Paan Banaras Wala song-and-dance routine that they recently shot.
"We knew what Mr Bachchan had done to the song in the earlier Don. Shah Rukh and I weren't even thinking about it when we took the plunge. First of all, we are great fans of the song. It is truly a monster of a song. But what Sarojji (Saroj Khan) did with Khaike paan ... is incredible.
"Of course, there is an element of deja vu in the choreography. But Sarojji has taken the number somewhere else."
The feisty filmmaker takes a deep breath. "In fact, all of us here in Malaysia are paying homage to the earlier Don. It is true that we have improved on the technical value immensely. But how far could we go with technique alone?
"Whether it is Shah Rukh, Priyanka, Arjun Rampal, Isha Koppiker, Boman Irani, Om Puri or Kareena Kapoor doing that incredible number Yeh mera dil pyar ke deewana by Helenji, we see our efforts as a tribute to a film we have all seen and loved featuring our ultimate screen hero Amitabh Bachchan."
Farhan regrettably doesn't recall ever going on the sets of Chandra Barot's Don as a child, which his father Javed Akhtar co-authored with Salim Khan.
"All my nostalgia for the film comes from watching Don on screen. It's taken me to a totally new territory. It's fun but also very stressful, and not because people are going to compare my film with the previous 'Don'.
"That doesn't bother me. I just wonder if my vision would come through in the film. The rest is all hypothetical right now."