Contrary to reports in certain leading newspapers, the Big B who played the iconic cop Vijay in Prakash Mehra's Zanjeer in 1973 won't be making an appearance in the remake.
Efforts to get the Big B to be part of Zanjeer have failed. Apparently, the film's team was enormously keen to get the super-iconic star to do a cameo. It seems every effort was made to get the Big B into the picture, until the last minute. Finally the beard proved the villain.
Says a source close to the project, "The neo - Zanjeer team was very keen to get Amitji on board right from the start. However, Mr. Bachchan's other commitments prevented him from putting in a token appearance as a senior cop. Finally when it seemed he would somehow accommodate the neo - Zanjeer's dream to have him in their film his beard became the villain." The cameo required the Big B to play a senior cop, and cops do not sport flowing beards.
Apparently, the Big B has grown his beard larger and lengthier than normal for his role of the social activist-politician in Prakash Jha's Satyagraha. Says the source, "With Mr Bachchan's beard being lengthier at the moment than usual, the question of his making an appearance as a senior cop didn't arise. Regrettably, Mr. Bachchan has said a final no to the cop's role."
When contracted director Apoorva Lakhia said, "Although it would be an honour for any filmmaker to have India's most iconic actor in his film, Amitji won't be playing a role in Zanjeer. That would put an extra pressure on Ramcharan who plays the Angry Cop that Amitji had played in the original Zanjeer."
Apoorva Lakhia fondly recalls an incident from Shootout At Lokhandwala, the last film in which he directed the Big B and Sanjay Dutt. "In the dialogue Mr Dutt had to say a Hindi cussword ch..tiya to Amitji. Mr. Dutt refused. But Amitji insisted. However, when it was time to say the dialogue Mr. Dutt just couldn't utter the 'ch' word in front of Amitji although Amitji kept encouraging him. Finally we had to change the word."
Says Apoorva, "That's the level of Amitji's commitment and professionalism. I'd have given anything to have him in my Zanjeer. But that was not meant to be. The Bachchans have always supported me in every endeavour. The original Zanjeer was a turning-point in not just Amitji's life and career, but several others. I'd have loved to have him in Zanjeer. And he'd have somehow accommodated my ardent wish. However, it'd be unfair to put Amitji in an uncomfortable situation by asking him to do this for me."
So once and for all, no Big B in the new Zanjeer.
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