Sajid Khan, who has made films like Heyy Babyy and the Housefull franchise, is all set to direct his fourth film. But he’s quick to clarify that his film, Himmatwala, is not a remake or a spoof on the 1983 film of the same name, directed by K Raghavendra Rao and starring Jeetendra and Sridevi.
Ajay Devgn, who is the leading man in the film, reveals, “I have a connection with Himmatwala. My dad Veeru Devgn had done the stunts in the film. And now I am acting in a film of the same name. When Sajid approached me, I really liked the concept. Let’s hope the audience likes it too.”
So is it, or is it not, a remake of the 1983 Himmatwala? Khan remarked, “It’s inspired by the old Himmatwala. I love that genre; I grew up in the ‘80s and have seen all those films. My Himmatwala story is very different but we have kept that era of the ‘80s. We have bought the rights of the title and two songs, among which is Taki O Taki. It’s Ajay Devgn’s Himmatwala; this is my version of Himmatwala. There are many things which were not in the old film.”
Since his film is set in the ‘80s, Khan has decided to record the song live, with musicians. “Taki O Taki from Himmatwala, which was composed by Bappi Lahiri and sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosale, is being remade with Sajid-Wajid composing and Mika and Shreya Ghosal singing. It’s the same song but with a 2013 touch. We have recorded the song with 100 live musicians. I wanted to recreate that magic. We will record a few more songs like this.”
Will Devgn be doing the same fancy footwork that Jeetendra did? Khan replies, “Yes, I am asking Ajay to do the steps just like that. The rest depends on Farah Khan and Ajay. We are even planning to shoot the song in the same way but it depends on Farah.” Devgn, meanwhile, is game to dance to anyone’s tune. “I am ready as long as they plan it well,” he says.
Recalling the times he grew up in, Khan quips, “It’s not retro for me because I grew up during that time. When I watched Himmatwala, I was 11 years old. It was one of the super hit films of that year and started a wave of South-style films in our industry.” And will we see Jeetendra shaking leg in this film? “I will be asking him to do a cameo,” says Khan.
The film will release in 2013 but Khan is yet to name the lead actress. “We will be announcing the leading lady next month. She will be a newcomer and I promise everyone will like her.”