Planet Bollywood
"We wanted to prove Abhishek is an all-rounder" - Mustan Burmawalla
- Supriya Davda           Let us know what you think about this feature article

Planet Bollywood Correspondent Supriya Davda caught up with Mustan Burmawalla [Duo Abbas-Mustan], infamous for making fast paced thriller-action films. Supriya spoke to Mustan about their upcoming release Players: Go For Gold, starring Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Bobby Deol, Sikandar Kher, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Omi Vaidya. Players is the official remake of the 2003 Hollywood blockbuster The Italian Job.

Why remake The Italian Job?

When we were in school, we had seen the first one, which was made in 1969, starring Michael Caine. We loved that film, because it was a very different film for that time and day. Everything was so entertaining about the film; it became a cult film in 1969. It was made again in 2003 with the same concept. Viacom 18 [partners] came up with the idea that we should remake the film, especially because we are known for action-thrillers. Paramount Pictures, the sister company of Viacom, said we can easily get the rights of this film and asked if we would adapt the film to Indian cine-goers. We started working on the script of the 2003 one. We came up with the adaption and we told them to get the rights so we can start the film.

What was the thought process behind the casting?

We finalised Abhishek [Bachchan] first, after watching every film of his. His character in Players leads the pack for the heist and we have never seen him in anything like this before, so we decided to give him the role. We also find that Abhishek is an all-rounder and he has done a great job. Sonam Kapoor is always seen as the sweet girl next door and we wanted to break this image of hers. We wanted her to look hot and sleek in the film. We've worked with Bipasha [Basu] several times before but the character of Riya is completely different from what we have given her before. She is a key part of the film and you will understand once you see the film. Similarly, Bobby [Deol], Neil [Nitin Mukesh], Omi [Vaidya] and Sikandar [Kher] are extremely crucial to the plot and the reason for casting them is because of the variation their characters bring.

You are very well-known for your multi-starrers. Why don't you work with just one or two protagonists? When we approach the stars we go to them with a bound script, storyboards and character descriptions. From the onset everyone knows what theyíll be doing. And so far this has worked for us. We ensure that each actor has a noteworthy character and is able to connect with the audience. And with thrillers each character has so many different dimensions you actually require a multi-starrer.

Will you ever make a film that isnít an action or a thriller?

If we sway away from what we know, we will be heavily scrutinized by the audience. Why do something that you are not hundred percent sure about? We'd rather stick to what we know and that way the audience will come and see our films. We are now synonymous with making action-thrillers films and we are happy with that.

You shot Players at various locations like New Zealand, Russia and North Pole. What was the experience like?

The North Pole was the best. Despite the weather conditions, we all had such a great experience there. All the actors said to us that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They all made the best of the situation. Rooms were the size of a prison-cell, yet no one complained.

What is the current status on the sequel of Race?

We have commenced shooting for Race. Second half of the shooting will commence in March.

Lastly, why should audiences watch Players?

It's definitely one of those films that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The film is full-on entertainment. Apart from that we had to ensure that this remake will suit the sensibilities of Indian audiences. Itís all well and good remaking a Hollywood film, but if itís not going to be appreciated by Indians, what good is it? Itís a fast-paced thriller and will keep the audiences glued to their seats.

Players: Go For Gold has been released on the 6th of January to screens worldwide.


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