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    Sep 2011


    Default Neeraj Pandey denies 'A Wednesday' prequel

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    Special 26's director Neeraj Pandey is happy doing niche films

    It has taken you five years to come up with another film after A Wednesday. Why?
    Special 26 has been a lot of work. It is just not the daring heist of '87 at the Opera House branch of a famous jewellary shop. That just triggered the idea of this film. I have woven in many other real life incidents. I did a lot of research, and I have fictionalised facts as well. For this film, though I had to recreate '87, I managed to shoot it within 45 days in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chandigarh.

    Did it also take you a long time to get Akshay Kumar on board?
    Yes. I was told by his office that my script hadn't been liked, which in turn compelled me to approach other heroes. Suddenly one day, I bumped into COO of Viacom 18, Vikram Malhotra, who asked me what was Akshay's take on the subject. This chat with Malhotra set up the stage for a narration with Akshay. That was when I realised that Akshay was not aware of the details of the subject.

    Did you ask Akshay to change his acting style?
    No. We had reading sessions and he got it bang on. I don't think Akshay can be slotted into a particular category. He has done his part with ease. In fact I was also comfortable working with Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpai, Divya Dutta and Jimmy Shergill as well.

    What happened to your idea of making a prequel to A Wednesday?
    That's dropped. No point in stretching things just for the heck of it.

    The cinema of 80s has come back and films like Shanghai and Matru Ki Bijlee have evoked a mixed response. Is it possible that we'll see Neeraj Pandey directing a Dabangg or Rowdy Rathore in near future?
    I don't think I am ready for it right now. I am comfortable working in my space.



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