The Gun Master’s salute to Hitchcock

Why was Agent Vinod delayed? Has it affected the final product?

No, the final product has obviously not been affected, but become even better. It was an ambitious film. When we were writing the script, we visited many countries. Ideally, we should spend one year in pre-production and then take dates from stars for shooting. But, we started shooting as we were excited to add a punch. I needed some more dates from my actors and this took time. I think the end product shows it’s worth it. When you see the movie, you’ll realise it.

Who is Agent Vinod? Is he a James Bond?

The film is an action-packed spy thriller set in today’s times. I am a big fan of old Indian spy thrillers like Aankhen of Dharmendra and Hitchcock films. It’s a mix of such stories. Mithun’s Gun Master was very successful and they made two of them. But, later, there hasn’t been such a film. After the old Agent Vinod’s release, there were no spy films for almost 10 years. If our film does well then there can be more Agent Vinod stories.

You actually introduced Saif to dark cinema with Ek Haseena Thi. How did you convince him to play a negative role then?

Dil Chahta Hai released and people were enjoying him in that role very much. When we approached him, he was initially worried that it might affect his fan base. Somehow, once we started talking, we got along well and I told him, ‘It’s a negative character but also, charming and cunning. It’s a fun role to play.’ Once he agreed, he was comfortable with everything , including the climax, when rats surround him.

How important is the Mujra song for the film? Did you incorporate it to add to the commercial value of your film? 

No, it’s a wedding scene. Kareena and Saif are on a mission, searching for a third person. In foreign films, they have a different background score but since, it’s a Hindi movie, we planned a Mujra. One, people will wonder about a Mujra in such a film and two, it will make the viewers curious. They will enjoy it.

There were rumours that Saif has already planned its sequel. Is it true?

We keep wondering. If the film works, Inshallah! There may be a chance to make another.

Does the darker side of life fascinate you?

I like happier movies but yes, I enjoy dark thrillers and crime dramas a little more. It’s my first choice in books or even at a DVD library.

You had signed Ramesh Sippy’s Happy Birthday with John Abraham and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, long ago. Will you reconsider the casting now since, Aish’s life has changed?

In the last two years, I was busy with Agent Vinod so I have to meet them and find out before taking it forward. I might make certain changes in it. Happy Birthday is a fantasy film. It’s different from what I have done so far. I want to break away from the genre of dark thrillers. But, first of all, I will be taking a break and watch films that released last year.

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