Only Anil Kapoor can be ‘Mr India’

4Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur says if there is anyone who can reprise the protagonist’s role in the remake of his 1987 hit ‘Mr.India’, it is the original hero Anil Kapoor.

‘Anil should definitely stay in the remake of ‘Mr.India’. He has become synonymous with ‘Mr.India’ and the project would be incomplete without him,’ Kapur, who has been in discussions with Manmohan Shetty, Boney Kapoor and Anil for the film, told IANS.

Though Kapur has no intentions of directing the remake of the Bollywood science fiction superhero film, he is lending a helping hand in giving shape to a new villain and a new story for the film.

However, the filmmaker doubts if the producers would ever be able to find an actor who could match the aura of Amrish Puri as the crude villain Mogambo.

‘I wonder if anyone would find a Mogambo as exciting as Amrish Puri. His performance was outstanding – it’s very difficult to replace him and wash out memories of the original Mogambo because he was ultimate in that role,’ he said.

Kapur carved a niche for himself in showbiz with distinct films like ‘Bandit Queen’ and ‘Masoom’ and ‘Mr. India’ and earned international recognition with ‘The Four Feathers’, ‘Elizabeth’ and its sequel ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’.

But directing a Bollywood potboiler complete with song and dance is the last thing on his mind right now.

‘Bollywood films have got better and better over the years. But I don’t think I am the best director to make a typical Bollywood entertainer. My sensibilities as a director differ from a lot of them here,’ he said.

Kapur doesn’t even have a wish list of any Bollywood A-list actor whom he would like to work with in a future film.

‘I never work with stars. When I worked with Anil Kapoor in ‘Mr.India’, he was no star. Same with Naseeruddin Shah in ‘Masoom’ and with Heath Ledger in ‘The Four Feathers’. People hardly knew Heath back then – so for me stars don’t matter as much as an actor’s suitability to a role in my films,’ he explained.

His much-awaited ‘Paani’, which he is making in collaboration with Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, is currently in its last stage. His plans to make the third instalment of ‘Elizabeth’, based on the life of Queen Elizabeth I of England, are on hold.

‘I’ve always said the third part of my ‘Elizabeth’ series would be about the time just before she died. And right now Cate Blanchett, who has played the role in both the films, is too young to portray an old lady. So we will have to wait and see when the third ‘Elizabeth’ happens,’ he said.

For now, Kapur is busy being a judge on TV reality show ‘India’s Got Talent’ on entertainment channel Colors.

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