Nikhil Dwivedi on Naagin trilogy with Shraddha Kapoor: ‘If Spider Man or Superman can exist, so can a shape-shifting snake’

Updated on Nov 19, 2020 07:34 AM IST

Nikhil Dwivedi, who is producing the Naagin trilogy with Shraddha Kapoor, said that the films will be ‘contemporary’ and preconceived notions must not be formed on the basis of earlier films on the subject.

Nikhil Dwivedi is producing the Naagin trilogy with Shraddha Kapoor in the lead role.
Nikhil Dwivedi is producing the Naagin trilogy with Shraddha Kapoor in the lead role.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | BySamrudhi Ghosh

Shraddha Kapoor will be seen as a naagin - a shape-shifting snake - in a new three-film series directed by Vishal Furia and produced by Nikhil Dwivedi. In the past, producer Ekta Kapoor talked about wanting to make Naagin for the big screen and how Katrina Kaif thought she had ‘smoked something really nice’ when she approached her for the role.

Nikhil, however, feels that the concept of an ichchadhari naagin is not all that outlandish. Talking to Hindustan Times, he said, “I keep giving the example of Spider Man, which is about a college-going boy who gets bitten by a spider and jumps from one building to another. We are equally ready for an ichchadhari naagin. It depends on how you want it to come on screen. Eventually, it is a fantasy. If a Spider Man or a Superman can exist, so can a shape-shifting snake. Twilight is one of the most successful films; it is believable because we know it is a fantasy.”

In the past, top stars such as Sridevi, Rekha and Vyjayanthimala have played naagins in films. The new trilogy will be more ‘contemporary’, Nikhil said. “Because Naagin was made in a certain kind of format in India, everyone is only remembering that. They think sapera been bajayega aur naagin dance karegi (a snake charmer will play the flute and the shape-shifting snake will dance), so how will it be relatable to the audience? I think that is jumping the gun because no one knows how we will tell the story. It will be very contemporary and they must allow us to show them what we have made.”

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The trilogy is touted to be a love story made on a lavish scale, blending Indian folklore with heavy VFX. Shraddha had earlier expressed her excitement about playing such an ‘iconic character, which has always been so fascinating for the audience’.

Nikhil, who is the co-producer of Veere Di Wedding and Dabangg 3, also talked about the impact of the pandemic on the film industry and whether actors will have to take pay cuts. “All businesses have their own ways of correcting themselves. All of us are a part of this business and actors are not very detached from this scenario. They are all human beings, they will understand. If they feel that a pay cut is going to help the business, they will go for it,” he said.

“When their films don’t work, there have been instances when actors and producers have returned money to the distributors. This has been going on and they would still rise to the occasion. If a pay cut is really required, why not?,” he added.

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