John was keen to do Suriya’s role in the Hindi remake of Gautham Menon’s 2003 Tamil blockbuster “Kaakha Kaakha”, about a cop on a vendetta trail. But the film’s Hindi remake rights were with Fardeen.
Filmmaker Vipul Shah too saw “Kaakha Kaakha” and agreed to produce it for director Nishikant Kamat with John in the lead. Shah personally approached Fardeen and a deal was stuck without much delay or ado.
“Fardeen was gracious, supportive and generous. I didn’t have to persuade him at all. When he saw how keen we were to re-make ‘Kaakha Kaakha’ in Hindi, he gave over the remake rights to us without hesitation,” Shah told IANS.
“I don’t see why we can’t be more generous in this industry. When Ajay Devgn asked me to give over my title ‘All The Best’, I happily did so. It was meant to be the original title of my ‘Aankhen’. I didn’t need it because at that time English titles were taboo,” said Shah.
Did Fardeen ask to be signed as the lead of “Kaakha Kaakha” in Hindi?
“Fardeen didn’t even suggest I sign him for the remake. It would’ve caused embarrassment for both of us if he had. I don’t think we should ever mix business with pleasure. I’d love to work with Fardeen when I’ve the right project for him. But not be coerced emotionally into signing him,” said Shah.
Though Shah is not divulging the amount that he paid Fardeen to acquire the remake rights, it is reliably learnt the amount was Rs.6 million.
“I gave Fardeen exactly the amount that he had paid for the remake rights of ‘Kaakha Kaakha’. He didn’t expect anything more,” he said.
Now Kamath is busy rewriting “Kaakha Kaakha” for a pan-India audience. Though the original Tamil film was shot only in India, the remake will be shot in many countries abroad.
John’s action sequences will be better than Suriya’s in the original.
As for Asin signing the role opposite John, Shah clarifies: “Genelia d’Souza was never considered. I don’t know why it was written so. Asin was Nishi(kant)’s choice. He thought she was perfect for the part. The choice had nothing to do with my comfort level with her during the making of ‘London Dreams’.
“I don’t care how many projects she turned down recently or that she was sitting home for eight months. I’m glad she’s doing our film. The film is an acid test for Nishi. So far he has been identified with strong offbeat films. ‘Kaakha Kaakha’ is his first full-fledged commercial film. And John-Asin is a fresh pair. Always exciting for audiences.”