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Matthan movie like <i>National Treasure</i>

By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Friday, September 01, 2006
After Sarfarosh and Shikhar, the gently talented John Matthan next hopes to go into a totally different genre. "I plan to make a political parable designed as a treasure hunt....yes on the lines of the Nicolas Cage-starrer National Treasure. It would be a very expensive film."

The nobly intended Shikhar cost around Rs 14 crores to make. "It wasn't easy to make Shikhar," John confesses. "All the sequences pertaining to the eco-friendly village in the outdoors had sets constructed on them. And now to do my next film I'd need an even bigger budget."

John would perforce have to cast big stars in his next. "You can't hope to make a big-budget film without stars. You don't get an audience if you do. If I had cast a newcomer in Shahid's role in Shikhar I'd have been at a bigger loss."

He was aghast at critical readings of Shikhar which suggest that the film is ripped off from Oliver Stone's Wall Street. "I wasn't even aware of any similarities until after I finished my script. When I narrated it to one of my actors we both realized there was a similarity between the Michael Douglas-Charlie Sheen mentor-pupil relationship and Ajay Devgan's rapport with Shahid. But to suggest that I've ripped of Wall Street in Shikhar is far-fetched."

One film that John regrets leaving behind is the one he designed with Aamir Khan in mind after Sarfarosh. "It was about the rationale behind Indians migrating to the US. But after 9/11 it made no sense. After two years of work I decided to abandon my film with Aamir and start from scratch. That's how Shikhar was born."

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