New DelhiL: Producer Tutu Sharma`s "Tera Kya Hoga Johnny" has been ready since 2008, but he says this is the right time to release the film as the popularity of its lead actor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, has grown by several notches.
"When we had cast Neil, it was not because of his popularity or fame. It was because of his acting talent. He is tremendously talented and very good at his work, and so are all the actors who are a part of `Tera Kya Hoga Johnny`," Sharma said.
"But, yes, Neil has made a mark for himself over the years and has become very popular in the film industry. In a way it is very good that we are releasing the film now," he added.
"Tera Kya Hoga Johnny", directed by Sudhir Mishra, also features Soha Ali Khan, Kay Kay Menon, Karan Nath, Shahana Goswami and debutant Sikander Agarwal. Releasing Dec 17, the medium budget movie revolves around a 16-year-old street boy.
The producer plans to release the film in Britain and Dubai to cash in on Neil`s "massive fan following" in the markets.
"In fact, we are trying to have a premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival (which is starting Dec 12), but let`s wait and watch. Talks are still on," he said.
What took the film so long to release?
"We had an international version of the film which has been screened at various film festivals like in London and New York. But we wanted to commercialise the film for the Indian audience. We added two-three songs and re-shot some of the scenes. So all of it took time, and we felt Dec 17 is the right time and right period to release the film," he said.
Prior to its release, the street-story hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons - first it was reported that Neil refused to dub the movie when he found out his co-star Karan had an equally important role and then an uncut version of "Tera Kya Hoga Johnny" surfaced on youtube.
But putting the troubles behind, Sharma is looking forward to its release. He is hoping to hit bull`s eye as there are no biggies scheduled for that particular weekend and the film will hit the screens just a week before the X-Mas holiday.
"It is releasing around the holiday period. We hope to reap the benefits," he said.
Sharma, who had earlier produced masala movies like "Rajkumar", "Gharwali Baharwali" and "Khullam Khulla Pyaar Karen", is happy with the fact that Indian filmmakers are now realising the importance of international markets.
"Travelling in international circuits really helps. Initially, no one took the international markets seriously...but now big names like Aamir Khan and big films like `My Name Is Khan` have started going abroad. Aamir also took `Peepli Live` to the Berlin Film Festival to promote it...so it`s a healthy trend for Hindi cinema," he said.
He added that filmmakers must understand the need for tweaking their projects to international taste.
"There is a slight divide in the way films are made in India and internationally. The use of background music is subtle abroad, the use of music is much lesser...technically they are much advanced. So filmmakers in India should consider these small changes before taking films to international markets," said Sharma, who is married to actress Padmini Kolhapure.