By Dibyojyoti Baksi and Siddharth Aalambayan
Vidhu Vinod Chopra's latest production Wazir hits the screens this Friday (8 January) but the road to the cinemas was paved with uncertainties, Hollywood aspirations and several rewrites over a waiting period of more than 30 years. In an exclusive interview to Firstpost, Chopra and Abhijat Joshi, who worked on the film's script, recount their journey and how the veteran producer was unsure of whether Farhan Akhtar would agree to do the film.
I was not sure that Farhan will do my film: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Chopra knew from the start that he wanted Akhtar and Amitabh Bachchan playing the protagonists, but as he explains in the video, he was a bit apprehensive about whether Akhtar will give his nod, considering the heightened tensions between Chopra and Farhan's father Javed Akhtar at that point of time. In the end, it all worked out.
How Broken Horses won the race to be Chopra's first Hollywood film
Incidentally, Wazir was supposed to be Chopra's first Hollywood film. Chopra had been working on the idea for more than 30 years. He and Joshi wrote a script which received considerable attention from a Hollywood studio and from legendary actor Dustin Hoffman. Unfortunately, it got shelved. Later, when Chopra told Bejoy Nambiar that he would like to work with him, the latter chose this script out of the producer's "closet full of scripts". That's how Wazir finally came into being. Chopra explains in the video below why he has no regrets that Broken Horses and not Wazir ended up being his first Hollywood film:
Abhijat turns editor with Wazir
Wazir is an important film not only for Chopra but also for Joshi. With this movie, the screenwriter is on his way to establishing himself as an editor. He kept on "improving" the story during the editing process and did it so well that Chopra credited him officially as an editor of the film. Wazir "invited a lot of situations" which he could use to improve the film in post production, he says in the video below: