Neeraj Pandey didn’t ‘surprise’ any film about Vikram and Betal: ‘Vikram Vedha is a fantastic script’


As a producer, he backs remakes of two of South’s biggest blockbusters — Ishq and Vikram Veda – but filmmaker Neeraj Pandey says that as a director, he can only do justice to his original stories.

Best known for directing critically acclaimed and commercially successful films A Wednesday, Special 26, Baby and MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, the writer-director is producing the remake of Ishq Operation Romeo and Vikram Veda through his Friday Filmworks banner.

Pandey said he finds it difficult to look at a story “objectively” and respects those who have the power to tell a subject in their own way.

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“I’m not into making remakes. I’m more eager to write stuff myself and think about what the journey will be like and go that route. I’m not comfortable as a maker but I have complete respect for others who look at material objectively.

“They’re not writers themselves, so maybe they can see potential on how to make another story in their voices. I never sat down and analyzed personally (why I can’t do remakes). Maybe I didn’t write the story, so I’m not able to see the point,” Pandey said.

Vikram Veda, with Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan in the lead, is the remake of the 2017 Tamil neo-noir crime thriller of the same name. Filmmakers Pushkar and Gayathri, who directed the original, are also directing the Hindi version.

Pandey said it was the storyline based on the mythology of Vikram and Betal that attracted him to the project.

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“’Vikram Veda’ is a fantastic scenario, based on the mythology of Vikram and Betal. The film is a contemporary take. We were surprised that a North Indian movie didn’t pick it up. It’s on the floors and we’re finishing it in terms of filming.

The director added that in the case of Operation Romeo, which is the remake of the Malayalam film Ishq, he was hooked on the universal idea of ​​moral policing.

hrithik VEDHA Hrithik plays Vedha in the official Hindi remake of a Tamil film, Vikram Vedha. (Photo: Hrithik Roshan/Instagram)

“We have cases happening in all parts of the country and we wonder how come no one has made a movie about it.”

Directed by Shashant Shah, Operation Romeo stars actors Sidhant Gupta and Vedika Pinto.

Talking about the growing popularity of Southern films in North India, Pandey said that while films in different languages ​​are increasingly aired, the cultural exchange between the two entertainment industries has always been there.

The filmmaker cited the example of his own 2018 thriller One Wednesday, which was remade in Tamil and Telugu starring Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal respectively. Popular actor Ben Kingsley starred in the English version.

As a producer, the 48-year-old filmmaker says he is totally involved in a project in the pre-production phase.

“My role is until the director starts shooting and takes the film to the ground, until then we are closely involved in the decision we make, the script, the adaptation, the casting”, a- he declared.

Backed by Pandey and Shital Bhatia’s Friday Filmworks and Reliance Entertainment, Operation Romeo is set to hit theaters on April 22.

His next directing venture is Chanakya and the project is currently in its early stages, Pandey said.

“I’m excited and not nervous about it (Chanakya). It’s a different genre for us, period drama. We don’t believe in playing it safe. We hate repeating ourselves in a particular space unless there is a new story to tell. I can’t wait to (do) this,” he said, adding that the team will announce more details soon.

Pandey also has season two of the Disney+ Hotstar series Special operations with Kay Kay Menon. The upcoming season will be “bigger and better” and will be released next year, the director added.



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