A statement by former Bhatts' loyalist Anurag Basu that he'd love to revive the project Suicide Bomber albeit in a new avatar packaging and with a new cast, has the outspoken Bhatt seething in anger.
Suicide Bomber, which is about a terrorist on a suicide mission, not unlike what we saw in Mumbai on 26/11, was a film that was planned as a launch pad for Mahesh Bhatt's only son Sunny three years ago when Basu had finished Gangster. Anurag was halfway through another Bhatt project Tumsa Nahin Dekha when the director fell seriously ill.
The ever-generous Mahesh looked after Anurag and his hospital bills until the ailing director was back on his feet…But then Basu moved on to UTV and Life In A Metro and now Rakesh –Hrithik Roshan and Kites. The Bhatts were left behind.
Says a source close to the Bhatts, "Though Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt don't show it, they are far from amused by the way their protegees find their bearings at the Bhatts' Vishesh Films and then move on to bigger money. Even Bhatt Saab's own nephew Emran is no longer their resident hero. Anurag's leaving after Gangster and the care that the Bhatts took of him during his illness was a blow. But they didn't say a thing."
But now, Mahesh is not willing to let go of Suicide Bomber without a fight. Says the director, "Suicide Bomber is my idea. Our company has registered the title. My son has made it clear to me that if and when he gets into the world of acting it will be in Suicide Bomber."
Though the project has been lying on the shelves for a while, recent developments in Mumbai and its outrageous sqaud of suicide bombers has revived interest in the idea, earlier implemented effectively by Santosh Sivan in Terrorist and the Bhatts in last year's Dhokha.
Says Mahesh, "I only want to make Suicide Bomber if the world is ready tohear the so-called enemy's point of view. If we want to stop the bloodshed we'll have to hear their voice. However the Bollywood idiom is simplistic. It can't truthfully explore a theme like terrorism. I tried to put forward the suicide bomber's point of view in Dhokha and failed. My son's film doesn't have a happy ending. Bollywood blockbusters even if they're about terrorism need to have a happy ending, like Neeraj Pandey's A Wednesday."
With Sunny Bhatt more than ready for a launch, the Bhatts will start Suicide Bomber (with or without the happy ending) before Anurag Basu gets going.