By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM Tuesday, August 14, 2007 Bobby Deol currently riding the crest with his two lauded performances in Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom and Apne, is out of Apoorva Lakhia's Mission Istanbul.
Explains Lakhia, "We were supposed to go on the floors on 1st August but because of Ramzan and Eid the date got pushed up with the result that Bobby Deol can no longer do the project. Sad, because he was the first one I signed. Unfortunately Mission Istanbul requires 60 days in Turkey at a stretch. And I've to finish the film by end of November before winter sets in and the days get short and wintry."
Now Zayed Khan has stepped into Bobby's place. "I'm happy Zayed had stepped in. I guess he brings a different mood to the role from Bobby. I've never worked with Zayed before. I've seen a couple of his films. He's young and cocky. We can play on that. He plays a young inexperienced guy in a mature world."
Apart from Zayed the final cast for Mission Istanbul is Viveik Oberoi, Suniel Shetty, Shabbir Ahluwalia and newcomer Niket Dheer (actor Pankaj Dheer's son) and Shreya Saran(last seen in Awarapan). Abhishek Bachchan will also be appearing in the film.
"How can I ever make a film without Abhishek?" argues Lakhia, known to stick to a film's budget. "I shot Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost in 41 days and Ek Ajnabee in 39 days. Shootout At Lokhandwala was shot in 53 days although it went on for 9 months. Mission Isntanbul is a very expensive film. My producer Suniel Shetty has already spent plenty in pre-production. We've already been to Turkey several times. It's one of the most amazing shooting spots. I'm looking forward to it."
After Mission Istanbul Apoorva Lakhia will direct a film for Ekta Kapoor. "We're exploring a number of films. And it won't necessarily have Tusshar in it. Ekta never insists on anyone in the cast. In fact I had to ask Ekta to intervene when Tusshar was reluctant to do Shootout At Lokhandwala...I'm glad the film is a hit. Though I can't say how big a hit, at least it got me noticed and I'm doing Mission Istanbul."