One film that caught the fancy of just about everyone at the recently concluded G.I.F.A. Awards in Malaysia is the Sanjay Gupta-Ekta Kapoor produced SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA, being directed by Apoorva Lakhia. When Jeetendra watched the 5-minute promo for the first time at the press meet, he couldn’t stop praising Lakhia for the next 10 minutes. In fact, the media reaction to the promo was also marvelous, going by the ovation that followed.
Another person who seemed mesmerized by the promo was none other than Shahrukh Khan, who was hosting a few segments of the award ceremony. “Wow! The project looks big. It’s simply amazing,” he reacted instantaneously, soon after the promo ended.
Meanwhile, Lakhia is gung ho about the film. Was it tough putting the project together since it stars the biggest of names in the business? “Believe me, it wasn’t tough! Abhishek and I have a pact that he’d star in every film I make. And the pact has now extended to Mr. Bachchan too. Sanju is a friend, plus the producer, and Suniel too is a buddy. But, I admit, I did have problems casting guys on the ‘other side of the law’, namely Vivek Oberoi and Tusshar. Tusshar hadn’t portrayed a negative character and was apprehensive initially. Vivek too didn’t want to portray something he had attempted earlier, in COMPANY,” Lakhia reveals.
The title makes it a Mumbai-centric film and coupled with the issue it tackles, does it cater to a niche territory audience? “We might change the title to SHOOTOUT. The words ‘At Lokhandwala’ might be used in smaller fonts below the main title. That’s a possibility. As for the theme, it’s based on a true-incident and therefore, might hold sectional appeal. But we’ve compensated it with big stars to attract the universal audience,” he states.