Victoria 203 slow off the blocks

Mumbai: All is not well with the 1972 re-make Victoria 203. The film budgeted around Rs 25 million (Rs. 2.5 crore) has undergone into rough weather. Om Puri and Paresh Rawal were supposed to play the role of Ashok Kumar and Pran. But, it is learnt that they have opted out. Negotiations are now on with Irrfan Khan and Kay Kay Menon to play the respective roles. Jimmy Shergill and Amrita Arora are in the romantic leads. The film is being directed by Ananth Aksar Mahadevan.

The latest on the air is Rohit Kumar, who was co-producing the millennium version along with Kamal Sadanah, is now no longer associated with the film. “I was never an associate producer of this film. Kamal is an old-time pal and I was just helping him to put the project through,” clarifies Rohit Kumar (son of veteran filmmaker Mohan Kumar).

Producer Kamal Sadanah is equally gung-ho about the film. “Rohit will be with me throughout the project. Victoria 203 is a dream project. I have always nurtured the desire of remaking the film some day. But for Rohit’s help it’s finally coming true,” he smiles. He further adds, “The script is through and will start rolling soon.”

Incidentally, Kamal Sadanah’s father Brij Sadanah had directed the original. “The essence of the original will be retained in the remake. We will not tamper with the storyline or characters. Only thing, it will be an updated, present-day version. A blend of the old and new,” Ananth confirms the development.

Another interesting aspect is that the songs from the original will be retained in the newer version and the tracks will be re-recorded by none other than Ananth’s blue-eyed boy Himesh Reshammiya. “At least two tracks — ‘Do Bechare Bina Sahare’ and ‘Thoda Sa Thehro’ — will surely be retained in the remake. Besides, the signature tune of the original will be a full-length song now,” says Mahadevan excitedly. Plans are afoot to shoot the entire film in Mumbai.

Kamal has already completed the shooting of his artistic film Karkash. Both the films are produced under the banner of Angath Arts (named after his son). He plans to release them simultaneously on the same day.