Kolkata: With Abir Chatterjee now set to essay the role of popular fictional sleuth 'Feluda' crafted by Ray in upcoming 'Badshahi Angti', the most expensive Bengali detective film till this date, director Sandip Ray feels people will be intrigued with the transition in his image from 'Byomkesh Bakshi'.
"I had spotted Abir long before he debuted as Byomkesh by Anjan Dutta (in Adim Ripu). His name was suggested by Sabyasachi Chakraborty as the future 'Feluda' during shoots of 'Kailashe Kalenkari'. I had told Sabyasachi that he was not getting younger and we had to have a replacement," Sandip, who has made a string of 'Feluda' hits including 'Royal Bengal Rahasya', he said.
After Byomkesh Bakshi (the sleuth immortalised by Saradindu Bandopadhyay) a lot of other films starred Abir including 'Meghe Dhaka Tara' and he has matured now.
"Abir now fits the bill as a star with his young age, athletic build, height and intelligent face - all essential prerequisites which my father had specified," he said.
"Abir is the absolute choice for Badshahi Angti and his doing Byomkesh previously won't affect as he has a typical Bengaliness in his personality and sense of homour," says Sandip, who has also made non-Feluda 'Jekhane Bhooter Bhoy' and 'Chaar'.
Abir, he says, looks like a rookie 'Feluda' compared to the suave Soumitro Chatterjee in 'Sonar Kella' or the veteran investigator portrayed by Sabyasachi Chakraborty in 'Royal Bengal Rahasiya'.
This is important for 'Badshahi Angti' which is an early 'Feluda' story. Being young and physically fit Abir did all the action scenes for the film without a body double, he said.
"From the early cerebral 'Feluda' of Soumitra Chatterjee, I had shifted to a more action-packed avatar in 'Bombayer Bombete' in Sabyasachi. My change over to Abir stems from the same belief," says Sandip, who is now busy with post-production of 'Badshahi Angti'.
From the fabled 'Bhulbhulaia' in Lucknow to duel and martial combat in streets 'Badshahi Angti' is one of the most ambitious flicks in the genre in terms of production, he added. 'Badshahi Angti' will be released this Christmas as the earlier Feluda flicks.