By Subhash K Jha
BOLLYWOOD: This week when Anees Bazmi leaves with his three heroes – John Abraham Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar – for Dubai to shoot for Welcome Back, the sequel to the 2007 hit Welcome, it would be no ordinary crew.
Shooting will start for a film without one important actor being cast.
Anees is yet to lock in on the actor to play Feroz Khan’s role in Welcome. We all know how keen Anees is to cast Amitabh Bachchan in the role left vacant by Feroz Khan.
Anees has now carried his determination to get the Big B’s affirmation to a new level. He won’t cast for the role until the Big B says yes.
Speaking with deafening finality on the subject, Anees – who is just back from Dubai after finalizing his locations for Welcome Back – says, “It’s really very simple. It’s Bachchan Saab or bust. I cannot see anyone else in the role. So until he says yes we are not shooting that particular role or shooting with any of the actors who have scenes with that character.”
In fact, the role of the Don’s son has not been cast either.
Proclaims Anees, “We will cast for the son’s role only when Amitji says yes. The son should resemble the father. The role doesn’t justify Abhishek Bachchan’s presence. Or we’d have cast him when Amitji says yes.”
However one role that most definitely won’t be cast until the Big B’s consent is that of the female lead opposite the Don’s character.
Anees completely denies reports that he approached Rekha for the role. “I don’t know where that came from.I’ve never met Rekhaji in my life.So where is the question of casting her?”
Anees will cast the female actor opposite the Don’s character as well as his son according to the Big B’s comfort level.
Says the director, “We are leaving for the shooting of Welcome Back next week. We will be waiting for the Big B’s yes.”
If the consent is not forthcoming, Anees may even scrap the character.
Says the director emotionally, “When you have Amitji in mind for a role there can be no replacement. Can you imagine any song sung by Lata Mangeshkarji in any other voice?”
READ ALSO: Rekha refuses to do film with Amitabh