Desi-Box was lucky enough to catch up with the one half of the thriller mastermind duo directors; Abbas-Mustan. Famed for their signature twists and slick films, we got the lowdown on their upcoming thriller film Players, with an exclusive interview with Abbas Alibhai Burmawalla.
In Part 1 Abbas reveals to Desi-Box more about Players being the official remake of the Italian Job, why it took so long to work with Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor’s glamorous look, filming in the North Pole and the awesome soundtrack.
DB: Players is an official remake of the Italian Job, did you draw more inspiration from the 1969 or 2003 version of the film?
Abbas: We have seen both the films. The 1969 original was a cult film but the 2003 version starring Mark Wahlberg is the one we took the rights of.
DB: How difficult was it in creating a script that appealed to the Indian sensibilities but kept the essence of the original films?
Abbas: That’s what we thought of when Viacom (Viacom18 Motion Pictures) and the core producers approached us for remaking The Italian Job. First we worked on the script for a month and a half. We have adapted it in such a way that it appeals to Indian audiences. We have removed all the anticipations and predictable things of The Italian Job and we have included lots of turns and twists and suspense. Hopefully people will be glued to the seats till the end of the film.
DB: Players was the first Indian film to be shot in the North Pole, how was that?
Abbas: When we were looking for locations, we thought of doing an entire train heist scene in the snow because in The Italian job it was done in the canals of Venis so we wanted a virgin location. We went to the North Pole looking for snow clad mountains and worked out the train sequence. It was a fantastic location. A lot of European and Hollywood films are shot in Russia and our film was the first that was shot there.
DB: You have shot the film in various international locations such as New Zealand and Russia including India. In which cities did you shoot in?
Abbas: We shot in Goa in India. The first part is in Russia, also some parts in North Pole and St Petersburg. The second half is entirely shot in New Zealand, in Auckland and Wellington.
DB: It has been said that you have been in talk to cast Abhishek in your films for the last 8 years, why so long?
Abbas: We were always discussing to work together. We said we would definitely work together on something which we have never done before. When we were ready with the script we was thinking of the actors and Abhishek came to mind because, it has been a long time he has done a film like this with lots of attitude.
DB: Bobby Deol has already done 5 films with you, is he a lucky charm?
Abbas: Yeah (laughs). People will be surprised when watching him in the film, he will be seen in a very different role.
DB: Isn’t this film is the first time that Sonam Kapoor will be seen in a high-octane thriller?
Abbas: This is the first time she will be seen in a thriller film with a glamorous avtaar. She had to look really hot and glamorous for all the action sequences which she has never done before.
DB: You have used Pritam again for music, is he the perfect composer for your films?
Abbas: Pritam has been doing our music for the last four films and there are a lot of situational songs in this film. The music works in a big way as the situational songs flow with the film. People will really like it more than when they just hear the songs.
DB: What is your favourite song of the film?
Abbas: It’s our baby. We have shot the film and we have helped to select the songs, we love them all. The songs that really work are ‘Jhoom Jhoom ta Hun Main’ and ‘Dil Yeh Bekaraar Kyun Hai’.
DB: Is there anything you can reveal about the making of the film?
Abbas: Abhishek has not used a body double. He has done all his own actions even Sonam Kapoor and Bipasha Basu have not used any double and have done the action sequences themselves. They have had a lot of training to do the stunts and car races. There is not a single body double in the film.
Look out for Part 2 where Abbas reveals more about his upcoming film Race 2, which Bollywood megastars the duo would like to work with and whether we will seem him working with the Khan’s of Bollywood again!
PLAYERS- GO FOR GOLD will be releasing on January 6, 2012 at cinemas nationwide.