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Anthony to strike before Munna

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By: Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Sanjay Dutt-Arshad Warsi combo, which took the nation by storm with Munnabhai M.B.B.S., will feature in Anthony Kaun Hai?, exactly a month before Lage Raho Munnabhai hits the screens. Although Anthony Kaun Hai? started much after Lage Raho Munnabhai [Anthony went on floors in March in Thailand, was completed in April and will be released on July 28], there're whispers that producer Nikhil Panchamiya is keen that his film arrives before Munnabhai so as to capitalize on the star-combo.

"Let's not compare Anthony Kaun Hai? with Lage Raho Munnabhai. Munna and Circuit are brands already, while my film stars Sanju and Arshad. I am not trying to be one-up on Vidhu Vinod Chopra [the producer of Lage Raho Munnabhai]. I am not competing with him," Panchamiya defends his move of overtaking Lage Raho Munnabhai.

But Panchamiya could've released Anthony Kaun Hai? after the Munnabhai sequel hit the screens. "I was ready with my film in April, so does it make sense to hold on to it unnecessarily? For someone like me who has just stepped into the production arena [he made his production debut with Dil Maannge More], every penny counts and every day makes a difference. If I don't release my film in July, the next date I can look at is November/December, after Ramzan and after Dhoom 2 and Don. I'd be killing my film if I delay Anthony Kaun Hai? any further," he states.

Panchamiya feels both Anthony Kaun Hai? and Munnabhai can co-exist without harming each other's prospects. "The two films are diametrically diverse in content, so there's no cause for worry. The only similarity is its heroes, but beyond that there's nothing remotely identical. And that's what makes me all the more confident of the two films," he adds.

What next? Panchamiya has decided to repeat Anthony Kaun Hai? director Raj Kaushal. "We shot Dil Maange More [dir.: Ananth Mahadevan] at one stretch in Malaysia and Anthony Kaun Hai? in Thailand. We'll opt for a foreign location again for the new film and complete its filming at one go," he reveals.

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