So consumed are his friends from Bollywood by the idea of him directing another film after Khuda Kay Liye that they've already decided to give over an entire project with cast and all to Shoaib Mansoor.
But Shoaib is no hurry to make his next film. "I'm really amused to hear that I've already decided which film to make next. In fact I've a couple of ideas that I'm developing," says the softspoken Khuda Kay Liye director speaking from Pakistan.
Tell him that Percept Pictures is quoted as saying Shaan, the Pakistan matinee idol who played the lead in Khuda Kay Liye, has already been cast in his next, and Shoaib replies, "When I haven't even decided what I'll make next how can I firm in on the cast? It's unlikely that Shaan will be part of my next project."
The Pakistani superstar didn't quite give Shoaib an easy time making Khuda Kay Liye. Though Shaan agreed to change his image and do a starkly realistic role he seemed to lose interest halfway and did nothing to support the film's craggy progression after release.
Laughs Shoaib, "The star system is no different in Pakistan or India. India has some great acting talent .And I'd love to work with all of them. But at this juncture it would be highly premature to mention names because I've no one in mind."
It took Shoaib a good 25 years to make his first feature film. "Making a film in Pakistan is not easy. I've fought many battles, petty and epic, to make Khuda Kay Liye. And if it has done well in Pakistan and India then my struggle has been worth it. Now of course I'll make my next film out of Mumbai. I'm committed to Percept Pictures for my next. And I think I'll make it within a year. This time I can focus on writing and directing the film while my producers will take care of everything else. But it will take me a year to get the script in place."
At the moment Shoaib is getting ready for a 3-week trip to Japan from July 20 where he's being honoured by the Japanese federation. "This year I've a lot of traveling to do. Khuda Kay Liye had a much longer shelf life than I had imagined. My next film will also have a very strong socio-political content. I don't think cinema is about making 150 girls and boys dance on top of a Swiss mountain. It's a very powerful medium. Let's not use it for frivolity."
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