Now this one is an astonishing piece of news. Believe it or not but Shah Rukh Khan and his director Anubhav Sinha picked up as many as 200 DVDs of superhero films en route to getting their most ambitious project till date, Ra.One, on paper. Though actors and filmmakers are known for getting inspired by cinema from different parts of the world, this is the first time when someone is admitting to studying as many as 200 films even before the first shot was canned.
“When Anubhav proposed the idea of Ra.One to Shah Rukh six years back, he said ‘yes’ in principal. However, the superstar didn’t want to start in a hurry and wanted to cover all ends to know more about what works and what doesn’t. Reason being that superhero genre is relatively unexplored in Bollywood and he wanted to see how it worked in global markets. Also, he wanted to closely observe the grammar that went behind writing a film like this”, informs a source close to Shah Rukh.
This means that during a trip to Los Angeles for the pre-production of Ra.One, Shah Rukh and Anubhav hunted for superhero films and picked up 200 of them regardless of which country they originated from, their release period or the language. There wasn’t much surprise in store for them when they realised that the basic conflict as well as treatment of majority of these films was just the same.
Anubhav confirms watching all the films that were other than the obvious choices like Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Batman etc.
“There isn’t any harm in doing your homework right”, he says, “There have been countless love stories and action flicks that Bollywood has produced. However, superhero genre is still in its infancy. It makes sense to know what your counterparts are making globally. Let me tell you something though. I have come to realise that most superheroes bear the same empirical formula; they tread the same path and follow a similar narrative.”
Anubhav adds though that he wasn’t partial to cinema from the West and studied films made by his Indian counterparts as well.
“There are movies like Krrish and Mr. India which have succeeded and I saw them all over again too. Having said that, I didn’t ignore Drona either. At the end of the day, there are people who tried to do something different and gave it their all”, he says.
Perhaps the idea was to also know ‘what not to make’!