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Suniel Shetty's Mission Istanbul ready to roll

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By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Confirming that director Apoorva Lakhia has indeed been paid Rs 1.25 crores to direct the espionage thriller Mission Istanbul for his production house Popcorn Entertainment, Actor Suniel Shetty says, "Why not? Why is the figure so eye-popping? Apoorva Lakhia deserves it especially after Shootout At Lokhandwala."

Cutting down the rumour that Lakhia hiked his fee from Rs 60 lakhs to 1.25 crores after success, Suniel says, "No, when I signed Apu we didn't discuss the price at all. I had that much faith in his abilities. And what I'm paying him is just the base price....In return I get his full commitment for the project. Apu won't just come on the sets call the shots and leave. He's full-on into Mission Istanbul. He won't direct any other film during the shooting of my film.

He added, "In fact I've made him my partner. We share the profits on Mission Istanbul. ...more incentive for the director. And tell me, if I want to hire a good director how can I get one without incentive? All the super-directors from Aditya Chopra to Karan Johar are working inhouse. Rakeysh Mehra has tied up with UTV. And look at how productive their team is! "

This isn't just the way Suniel's company intends to work with directors, but also the stars. "Bobby Deol and Viveik Oberoi are more or less on for Mission Istanbul. The stars who work for my company will be paid their base price. In principle they won't work in any other project until my film is over." Is this a sign of Bollywood's increasing corporatisation. "Oh, absolutely. Directors are the real stars of any film. About time they got what they deserve.".

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