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"I didn't plan a sequel to Don"

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Courtesy: IndiaFM
Monday, October 30, 2006
Farhan Akhtar's Don is the flavour of the season. Post the release and success of his film IndiaFM has an exclusive conversation with Farhan on his plans for the sequel to Don, his acting debut and his plan to direct a movie outside Excel Films.

Don ends rather abruptly. Are there any intentions for a sequel?
The end of the film is not really about making people think that there is a sequel but I feel that the line 'Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai' is very apt for this end than it was for the original. I feel that after saying this line, the character dying in the first 25 minutes of the film doesn't really do justice to the confidence of the character in himself. For me the essence of the line was the fact that you may feel you had him and that he is dead but he should actually not be. So that was my idea for making the end and not for any sequel purpose.

Since Don is an adaptation of the old film, why were there changes from the original in the script?
If the movie was to be made exactly the same way, then there is the original movie for everyone to watch, which is fantastic. When I reinterpret the story in my way, it is important that I do it for an audience of today's sensibility. I feel if the climax of the original film where they toss around the dairy was done in today's times, it would be considered extremely outdated by people. So it was very important to adapt it in a way, using the same dilemma, the same characters, the same plot but say it in a language and say it in a way that suits the sensibilities of today's viewer. As a fan of the original Don, I thought that if the remake of Don was to be made, 'what would I like to see or what would I like it to be?' And the answer that I got was exactly the approach I used to make this film.

Why did you decide to remake Don?
Couple of reasons! First is my love for the original film and second my love for the collective work of Mr. Bachchan, Salim uncle and my father Javed Akthar. These movies made in that time, especially involving these three people were very influential in me deciding that I wanted to be a part of the film world. When I made two films, Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya, there was something in me that made me revisit my past and publicly declare my love for those movies that made me who I am. And I guess making Don is one way of doing it.

And why Shah Rukh Khan as Don?
After Mr. Bachchan, I don't think there is anyone today who is more suitable to play the role of Don than Shah Rukh. He has the personality, the style, the flair, the larger than life persona, the sense of humour and the sheer magnetism that this character requires. Shah Rukh's personality adapts this character naturally as opposed to someone else who would have to act the part. Shah Rukh Khan is tailor-made for it.

There was some news that you were to direct a film outside Excel Films
There was someone who came and met me with a very interesting script actually. But due to certain time constraints and due to certain agenda that I and Ritesh have for our company, it is something that didn't work out.

You were also going to make your acting debut in a film. What's happening on that front?
There is one assignment that I'm doing which we shot about 40 per cent before Don. It actually was supposed to be complete before Don started but since the director had some personal issues to deal with, the shooting was stopped for a while. We will start again on November 2 and we are heading to Venice for a month's schedule to finish the film.

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