‘Munna Bhai has managed to create quite a controversy in the recent past. This time, off the silver screen. Reports ranging from a replacement of the two lead actors Sanjay ‘Munna’ Dutt and Arshad ‘Circuit’ Warsi to a change in the director have made its way to the headlines. And the producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra has finally decided to reveal the real plans. The film, which will now go on floors tentatively by the end of 2012, will have its lead cast intact. However, the directorial reins might just change hands.
Rajkumar Hirani, who has been an inseparable part of the Munna Bhai franchise thus far might not get to direct the third part in the series. Mumbai Mirror has learnt that Rajesh Mapuskar, who has directed Chopra’s forthcoming film Ferrari Ki Sawaari, is being considered as a replacement for Hirani. Confirming that he is indeed working on Munna Bhai 3 with Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi, Chopra said, “We are writing the film now. Hirani is making another film. So, it could be him directing my film or it could be Rajesh Mapuskar. Rajesh has done a great job with Ferrari Ki Sawaari.”
“You know what, Hirani, Mapuskar and I work as a family. We at Vinod Chopra Films work like a family. Now, Hirani has written the dialogues for Mapuskar’s film. And Hirani is the biggest director in this country. Tell me, which director will want to write dialogues for his assistant’s film after being so successful in life?” added Chopra.’
‘Explaining why it took him over five years to plan the third part of the successful franchise (Lage Raho Munna Bhai release in September 2006), Chopra said, “I shall never lower the standards of my company. Ingmar Bergman (Swedish director) said: The first commandment of cinema is ‘Thou shall entertain’. The second commandment is ‘Thou shall entertain without selling your soul’. This company has not sold its soul for 30 years and never will. If I make Munna Bhai 3 just because I want to make Rs 200 crore overnight, it would be selling my soul. I will never do any film thinking isme toh maal banega, bech do. The point that I am trying to make here is that I am not going to make a bad Munna Bhai just to make money. If that were the case, I would have made the third part two years ago. I am trying to make a great movie. And I am hoping that I shall succeed.”
Talking about the various offers made by foreign production houses to buy off the superhit franchise, Chopra added, “There are offers where people want to buy into my company, into my franchise. I am not in the business of buying and selling. I am in the business of making movies and before I die, I want to interact with people on some ideas, which I have about life. Like Gandhigiri, which was depicted in Lage Raho Munnabhai. And I think that Gandhigiri is relevant even today. In fact, it is relevant forever. Even today, if an old man goes to a corrupt official and strips, the official will get embarrassed and give him his dues.”
Chopra, who was miffed with Sanjay Dutt for using the Munna Bhai name to his political benefit, needless to say has patched up with the actor. “All that is a thing of the past now.Let me not get into the details of how it got resolved. But everything is fine between Sanju and me now,” confirmed Chopra.’Tags: Arshad Warsi Munnabhai Rajesh Mapuskar Rajkumar Hirani Sanjay Dutt Vidhu Vinod Chopra