After the Vidya Balan-starrer film hit screens earlier this year, film-goers and critics couldn’t seem to get enough of Kahaani. And now, the movie is set to be remade in Telugu and Tamil, by none other than Andhra’s own prodigal son, Sekhar Kammula.
Calling it an adaptation rather than a remake, the director has been brought on board by the production company Endemol India. Speaking about the decision, chief executive officer Deepak Dhar said, “The company has been spotting trends and trying to recreate that and introduce these trends into other markets. That’s one of the reasons we acquired the rights to Kahaani; we see emotional thrillers as a rising trend.”
The company’s plan to remake the film into two southern languages is part of their strategy at launching themselves as a major player in the South. “Sekhar Kammula was a name that instantly popped up because of his work. His enthusiasm has been infectious and I’m pleasantly surprised that he’s adding layers to the story,” shared Dhar.
The film to be made simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu is in its nascent stage with the script being finalised. Talking about his first thriller project, director Sekhar says, “I saw the film for the first time about a month or so ago and the idea of redoing the movie was exciting. It was in line with my style of films — sensible, commercial and poetic.”
Explaining what drew him to the film, he continues, “There were many elements that struck me — the strong female character: a patriot, and almost a mother, the thriller element and shock value, and the overall positive feel of the movie. Even the backdrop — which is Kolkata, as I watched the film, I could already visualise which places in Hyderabad could substitute the Bengali city.”
While the Telugu adaptation wouldn’t be much to worry about, Sekhar faces a bigger challenge with the Tamil shooting. “I do know a little Tamil, but I’ll definitely need help. Since we’re still in the scripting stages, we’re far from deciding how to go about the project. But factors like will it be the same cast, styling of the film, the location, sensibilities and so on will have to be accounted for. Ask me in a few month’s time. However, ultimately, it’s a strong character-driven story, so the language is not a problem.”
So will the ‘kahaani’ be different? “I’m definitely giving it my own spin. As I said, this is going to be an adaptation rather than a remake. In terms of matching up to the performances and the overall film Kahaani was, every film is a benchmark by itself, and actors, they deliver. So the comparison isn’t qualified.”
With about 50 per cent of the scripting done, Sekhar judges that another month should produce the final product. Initially focusing on the Telugu version, once the logistics are worked out, the Tamil film process will begin. However, he clarifies that shooting will most probably take place simultaneously. The cast of the film is also currently undecided with just about anyone, including Vidya Balan herself, in the running.
As for his previously announced projects, the Hindi remake of Happy Days for instance, will have to take a back seat for a while.