Sanjay Dutt teams up with Ekta, Suniel for gangster film

Mumbai, July 29 (IANS) Sanjay Dutt, who celebrates his 49th birthday Tuesday, is all set to play a gangster once more – this time in a joint production by Ekta Kapoor and Suniel Shetty. Titled “Once Upon A Time In Mumbai”, it’s meant to be the ultimate comprehensive look at the city’s underworld.

Through the venture by Ekta’s Balaji Telefilms and Suniel’s Popcorn Entertainment, Sanjay and his director Milan Luthria will take audiences through a whole decade of gangsterism in the 1980s. Producer Suniel Shetty said: “Initially, we wanted to focus on one aspect of crime and smuggling in the 1980s. Now we’re taking into account the whole era and ethos leading up to terrorism and international terrorism in current times.”

Sanjay has played a gangster in many films including “Vaastav” and “Plan”, apart from funny ones like David Dhawan’s “Hum Kissise Kam Nahin” and Raju Hirani’s “Munnabhai” series. So why one more?

Said Suniel: “Because Baba (as he is fondly called by friends) really suits the role. And both Ekta and I want him to be part of the film. Basically, we’d like Baba to do as many films for us as possible. He’s in our film ‘Gen Next’ also. This is the one where the winners of Ekta’s reality show ‘Kaun Jeetega Bollywood Ka Ticket’ will co-star with Baba.”

Earlier, the plan was to only feature one female and male winner in the film with Dutt. But now Suniel feels the doors should be open to more talent. “Baba feels there can never be too much fresh talent. And Ekta’s show goes on for five years. So there will be a lot more fresh talent coming out of the show and into Balaji and Popcorn films.”

Suniel doesn’t want to act in films that he produces. “It becomes too messy. There’s too much looking over the shoulder. Too much anxiety about what’s happening behind the scenes.” Suniel, however, did make an appearance in “Mission Istanbul”.

“But it’s only a bit role. I made sure I’m not featured in the publicity. Right now I’m busy as an actor in other people’s productions.” The actor-producer is now shooting for his first intense love story since Dharmesh Darshan’s “Dhadkan”.

“It’s a really mature love story directed by Kabir Sadanand called ‘Tum Milo To Sahi’ and I’m cast opposite Vidya Malavade.”

— By Subhash K. Jha


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