The latest promos of Sarkar Raj say 'Sarkar Raj Hits Again'. It’s no wonder then that director Ram Gopal Varma is grinning from ear-to-ear.
"It's been great so far. I don't know if the feeling is one of satisfaction or relief, but it surely isn't one of depression," RGV says.
On the mixed reports and the fact that many people liked Sarkar better, he says, "I think comparisons are bound to be there whenever a sequel releases. When Godfather 2 came out, there were comparisons. But at the end of the day, it's the characters and their continuation that takes the story forward. It's not right to compare the two films. It's just like a new adventure in a series."
There has also been a lot written and spoken about Ramu's plans of going ahead with the third part in the Sarkar series, especially as the film has an open ending. So how serious is the director in completing his trilogy and whom would he decide to cast in as Chikkoo?
"The film has made such an impact that the idea of making a third part is there in my mind, but as of now it's just an idea. We have not yet decided on how to take the plot forward, so it's too early to talk about the third part and its characters right now."
Ramu has also been hitting back at critics with his blog. So is that his way of answering his detractors?
"My intention is not to hit back at anybody. I agree everyone has the right to have an opinion, but critics are not someone who have been blessed by God or something like that. So they should be careful about what they say. I just felt that if they have an opinion, I, too, have an opinion on their opinion which I have expressed," says the director.
Not one to rest, RGV is now busy with his next two–Contract and Phoonk.
The promos of Contract reveal that it's an extension of the Satya, Company genre.
"It's not an extension in the true sense. While Satya dealt with the inside view of the underworld and Company gave an overview of the underworld, Contract is basically about what happens when the underworld meets terrorism.
As for Phoonk, it's a supernatural thriller," says Ramu.
There has also been a buzz doing the rounds that Ram Gopal Varma, along with Ekta Kapoor, is planning to make a film on the life of Veerappan.
Is it true? "Yes, Ekta and I are making a film on the life and times of Veerappan, but we are just the producers. The film is going to be written and directed by Prashant Pandey, who wrote Sarkar Raj.
The film will track Veerappan from when he was just a skinny, pale teenager to how he metamorphosed into the infamous dacoit.
It will show his charismatic childlike behaviour that made many men dismiss him as a buffoon until he killed them. It will also tell the story of Muthulaxmi, the girl who fell in love with him.
The film will detail how Veerappan came into crime, made the forest his home and established his rule from there. In short, it will be a film on the story of Veerappan's life and the men who killed him."
Will the film star newcomers or established names? "It's very necessary to cast completely new actors to give the film a raw and realistic look, in the style of Satya,” says RGV.
”Most of the film is based in forests and rural areas. Prashant wants the look and characters to approximate a sense of reality. He believes that when the audience comes to see this film in theatres, they already know that it is a true story. They must have a first hand connection with the characters. This is required to maintain the authenticity of the film and the power of its telling," he says.
And, finally, what about the news that Veerappan's wife had a meeting to discuss the film?
"Veerappan's wife visited us. After listening to our intentions, she gave us valuable inputs and insights into the true story of Veerappan and she is completely endorsing and standing by the project. The film will primarily cater to the national audiences, but as Veerappan is known at an international level, it is bound to arouse interest even outside India."