Milkha biopic to go on floors this year: Rakeysh Mehra

Mumbai: Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra says his next movie `Bhag Milkha Bhag`, based on the life and times of legendary athelete Milkha Singh will go on floors in August-September this year, chronicling his journey from a traumatised childhood to his moment of glory as the country`s ace runner.

"Milkha Singh`s life story is extremely inspiring. I had read his autobiography and approached him with my wish to make a film on it. Prasoon Joshi has written the movie. We researched for two years about Milkha`s life and his past during our interactions with him in Chandigarh. All incidents have been captured in dramatised version for the film," Rakeysh told reporters.

As a young kid, Milkha saw his entire family getting killed in front of his eyes during the rioting that took place on the Pakistan side of Punjab. And all he could see and remember was his dying father screaming to him .."bhaag..bhaag Milkha bhaag" ( Milkha run), to escape from being killed by the rioters.

Milkha ran across to the Indian side of the border and became one of the greatest `runners` of the country.

Rakeysh said he was on the lookout for a new face or a relatively new face to play the character of Milkha Singh.

"I had given Prasoon three four subjects to write a movie and he decided that he wanted do to Milkha`s story first," he said adding that he will produce the film as well.

Rakeysh said he is yet to finalise the cast of `Bhag Milkha Bhag`.

Speaking about his films, he said he does not attempt to be different for the sake of being different.

"Once a movie is out of my system, I can`t make the same thing again...`Rang De Basanti` (RDB) was a huge success. But, I cannot repeat the same story of youngsters out to change the world. If something remains, I try to exploit it again and again," he added.

The director said he had changed the beginning and end of `Delhi 6` which had released worldwide in February 2009 and plans to re-release it on DVDs.

"But not for a year at least. I will plan this later," he said adding that the revised version bagged the national award and was also screened at the Venice Film Festival.

There is huge gap between each film he makes as he is also the writer of the movies he produces and directs.

"My stories are original and hence it takes time to create a story. I normally take two years to finish the story before getting down to actual shooting," Rakeysh said.

He said he has two more films for production as well as direction lined up. "Decision on which one to make first after Bhag Milkha.. is too early to say right now," he added.

Speaking about his productions, Rakeysh said an untitled movie starring Amitabh Bachchan with a new girl on a father-daughter relationship will go on floors in May. The debutant director Sunil Pandey had assisted him in RDB and Aamir Khan for `Taare Zameen Par`. The film will be co-produced by Reliance Pictures.

"There is another movie by a newcomer director. I liked the story idea and he is working on the script," he added. Rakeysh admitted that he felt the pressure to better his previous work after the success of RDB.

He said he was not unnerved that his next release `Delhi 6` was not as successful as RDB.

"The idea is to do good work to the best of your ability and results will follow but that is a different story. You don`t do your work for results you want to tell a story that is why you do the film," he added.

According to him, a director should have something to say, a point of view and that too a unique one. The producer should keep the business of the film intact.

"You can`t chase money in any business. I believe in chasing excellence in work and money will follow," he added.

He said a filmmaker has to deliver entertainment to people by making good films at competitive cost.


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