While his Shootout At Lokhandwala was inspired from real life gun-battle between gangsters and Mumbai Police, Mission Istanbul is close to reality but not real. It is a fictional story. Mentions the director, "It's a totally fictional film which is based on the world plagued by terrorism and it's about a character's growth. It's a journey where Zayed Khan travels from being a normal reporter to maturing into a man because of the difficulties he is faced. And how with the help of Vivek Oberoi they come across some vital information and they want to show it to the world."
Till date we saw the tall and lanky actor Zayed mostly in the characters of soft, easy going young lad. But with Mission Istanbul he will be seen in an altogether different shade. Zayed has really worked hard for this film. In fact the actor had put on 11 kgs just for the climax scene. When we asked Apoorva about this he said, "Yes that's absolutely true, because Zayed had to take on Nikiteen Dheer (Jodhaa Akbar fame) who is a crook in the film. Nikiteen is 6 feet 4 inches tall and built like a rock. So we thought it's necessary for Zayed to put on bulk and match up the physical terms of Nikiteen in the climax. We had to make it look realistic. So he really worked hard and managed getting there and looks fantastic in the film."
Like his Shootout, even Mission Istanbul is an action packed film with breathtaking out of the ordinary stunts. In fact Apoorva made Vivek and Zayed jump from a four storey building to give it a brush of reality. "It's nothing about out of the ordinary. All the stunts are realistic, what you and I, if faced with certain situation would do. Yeah, they (Zayed&Vivek) jumped from a 4-storey building onto a moving truck; they also jumped from a 5 storey building onto a helicopter and also jumped from a helicopter into -20? freezing water. But that was required as per the script", reasoned Apoorva.
Abhishek has been a regular element in Apoorva's films in some or other manner. Right from his first film Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost Abhi has been a regular feature of his movies. While in ShootoutEk Ajnabee Abhi had a brief role than in Mission he has been roped in for an item song. In fact the good pal Abhi did the item song for free. When we asked Apoorva about Abhi's item song in MI, he promptly agreed, "Abhishek is a very good friend and if he can be a part of any of my films I consider myself pretty fortunate. Infact I am looking forward to work with him soon. I'll be working with him in a Vashu Bhagnani film which will roll on next year only and we both are pretty excited to work again."
Apoorva has been known for action filled movies with less importance to woman characters. We asked the director about the same and he said, "Shootout was based on a true story so I couldn't have a woman character there. But on the whole I like making macho films. I love that genre. I like making my men look good. And I am very happy with that."
But Mission Istanbul would see a woman among these macho guys. When we asked how this new girl Shweta Bhardwaj is placed among the male gang, Apoorva replied aptly, "Shweta has a 'macho' character in this film. She is playing an 'action heroine', she is doing lot of actions as compared to what our heroines normally do. So we wanted someone new for this character who could be trained and mould in a manner we want." Was it difficult, "Yes it was difficult" says the director. He further adds, "She has done a fantastic job overall. She also had to become an ace driver to drive a Mahindra which is very heavy. I am happy with her performance."
Since the film deals with the grave issues of global terrorism, Apoorva chose turkey as hotspot destination for Mission Istanbul and shot extensively there. "Yes we have shot almost 95% of the film in Turkey and remaining 5% in Mumbai and Jaipur." Apoorva said. Infact the music of the film also has the Turkish feel. The music of the film is outstanding and perfectly matches the film's plot. The director infact roped in Turkish singer for one of its song. "Since the film is being shot in turkey, we thought it would be interesting to have all the cultures together and therefore we roped in Turkish singer Ege to sing the romantic song 'Jo Gumshuda' with the music of Anu Malik. We also got Tanyeli -The Turkish belly dancer. Plus we have few Turkish actors as well."
Not many will know this but Apoorva wanted Zayed Khan to make only a guest appearance in Mission Istaanbul. And when we confirmed about the same with Apoorva he said, "Yes I wanted to cast Zayed for the role which Suniel Shetty is playing now because Bobby was supposed to do my film first but somehow Bobby's date didn't work out and than I just had a word with Zayed and eventually it went to Zayed."