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"Mission Istanbul is a fast-paced action drama" : Apoorva Lakhia

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By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Monday, August 13, 2007
After the success of Shootout At Lokhandwala, Apoorva Lakhia is busy with his next, Mission Istanbul (produced by Ekta kapoor, Suniel Shetty and Shabbir Boxwala) - a fast-paced action thriller based on international terrorism. The film will be shot in a start-to-finish schedule of 60 days in Turkey. A chat with Lakhia on MI, the cast, Vivek Oberoi and bellydancers!

Why is Bobby Deol not doing Mission Istanbul?
Bobby couldn't work out the dates as our film got delayed by 20 days (from Oct 1 to Oct 25). Zayed Khan has now stepped in.

Tell us something about Mission Istanbul.
Mission Istanbul is a fastpaced action drama on a big canvass. In Mission Istanbul, our main character journeys through notorious terrorist acts in the recent past. For a war sequence, we have tied up with Turkish government and they are providing us with tanks and helicopters. Shabbir Ahluwalia and Shreya Sharan are also part of the film.

Is it true that Vivek Oberoi charged Rs 4 crore for the film?
No. When the producers and I approached Vivek Oberoi and asked about the money, he said, 'How can I ask for money from you guys after Shootout?" Vivek loved the script. Rizwan's character is totally different from Maya Dolas, and Vivek will take it to another level.

There's speculation about Abhishek and Vivek coming face to face in Mission Istanbul. How will you handle that?
They don't have any scenes together. Abhishek has a guest appearance. I know both exchanged messages after they saw Shootout, so I don't think there is a problem.

Will there be music in Mission Istanbul?
Yes. Anu Malik is doing the music. There are three situational songs. There is also an unconventional item song, which we are cutting with a scene. We have a part-Turkish part-Hindi track rendered by a very famous Turkish singer. The belly dancers used for a song sequence were so hot!

How did you feel when you heard the news of Sanjay Dutt going to jail?
I was saddened. He was my senior in school (Lawerence, Sanawar) and a humble person. My entire school fraternity - 3,000 of them - wrote letters to him, which I delivered to Manyata. He's strong and will come out a winner.

Did you expect Shootout to be a hit?
No. I didn't expect it to do so well. In the beginning people were classifying it as a massy film, but the overall response has been fantastic.

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