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Jeetendra set for a Bhojpuri debut

The actor is all set to play 'Thakur' in the Ekta Kapoor production, Gabbar Singh. Vajir Singh reports.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2006 20:32 IST
Vajir Singh/ HT Style
Vajir Singh/ HT Style

After a gap of almost three years, veteran actor Jeetendra is all set to make his comeback on the big screen. This time, however, it is not for a Hindi film but a regional Bhojpuri film, Gabbar Singh, which is a remake of Sholay and is being produced by Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor and Mahesh Pandey.

Jeetendra will play the character of Thakur which was played by Sanjeev Kumar in the original. Asked about his decision to cast Jeetendra as Thakur, Pandey, who is also directing the movie, said, “We wanted a senior actor to play this pivotal role since big actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha have already acted in Bhojpuri films, I could only think of Jeetuji.”

When Pandey told Ekta about casting Jeetendra as Thakur, she immediately agreed to convince her dad to play the part. The last time Jeetendra appeared on the big screen was for his home production Kucch Toh Hai, where he did a guest appearance as reel father to his real life son Tusshar Kapoor. The horror thriller failed to make money at the box office.

According to Pandey, this is not a remake of Sholay but an altogether different story. “Sholay was narrated from Thakur’s point of view but my film is all about Gabbar. It talks about Gabbar Singh and what turned him into a dreaded dacoit,” said Pandey, adding: “But then the conflict between Gabbar and Thakur will of course be there.” He also said every major character from the original will be seen in his movie, including the likes of Jai, Veeru, Radha and Basanti.

Asked which actor would play Jai and Veeru, Pandey said: “We’re finalising the other actors but don’t want to disclose anything at this hour. We intend to go on the floors early next year and complete it in one schedule,” he said.

Pandey said Gabbar Singh will be released at the same time Ram Gopal Varma plans to release his version of the epic original.

First Published: Oct 30, 2006 22:00 IST