Bhoot had it's germ in Raat. Sarkar got inspired from Godfather. Aag tried to tell a modern day Sholay tale. And now after Jungle, he returns to the 'jungle' with Agyaat. Even before his detractors could utter 'P', Ram Gopal Varma chose to go offensive and announced loud and clear that not just did Agyaat have it's roots in Predator, it has also seen 'liberal inspiration' from half a dozen odd other Bollywood, Hollywood and TV sources.
Is he serious?
"Absolutely", says Ramu with a straight face, "There have been so many films like Friday - The 13th, Anaconda or for that matter Predator that have excelled when it comes to thrill and chill elements. At the end of the day, fear is a universal phenomenon." As he has been maintaining over the years, Ramu states once again that he doesn't shy away from inspirations or copying his own when a subject interests him.
"I have always paid homage, whatever be the source, when there is something that interests me", he says, "At the end of the day, I have always maintained that I have picked up from films. Whether it was my first film as a director or the Friday release Agyaat, I continue to pick things available around me. Raat became Bhoot, Godfather made me do Sarkar. Black magic gave birth to Phoonk - I keep remaking my own films. The point is to get hold of an idea and see how differently you can narrate it."
Going back the memory lane, he states that when he saw Godfather, it made him question whether a plot and a man like that could exist in Mumbai. Once the answer was yes, he went on to make Sarkar and its sequel. Similarly when it came to Predator and number of others films belonging to the same genre and plotline, he thought of a basic idea to get a bunch of people together and lock them up in a 'jungle' to fight the unknown and unseen.
"If you look at the basic plotline, there would have been 1000 different versions of it already being made in Korea, Japan or other countries", he elaborates, "In case of Agyaat, I have brought together a film unit which gets into a forest to shoot a film. There is this inter-relationship between all of them with their own desires and beliefs. In my own way, I have created a new experience, though it won't have any semblance or similarity to what you may have seen in a movie belonging to the same genre."