Saif Ali Khan in Vipul Shah’s medical drama?

His last directorial, Action Replayy, was in 2010. Since then Vipul Shah has been associated with films like Holiday, Force and Force 2, Commando and its sequel, Kucch Luv Jaisaa and a TV series Pukaar as a producer. Now, after seven years and collaborating with directors like AR Murugadoss, Abhinay Deo, Nishikanth Kamat, Deven Bhojani and Barnali Ray Shukla, he is ready to return to direction. Back in 2009, Vipul had read an article about the growing market for drug testing on humans in India and it had sparked off his interested immediately.

“The project kept getting delayed but it’s a story waiting to be told,” he asserts, pointing out that the medical drama has been meticulously researched by his writers, Suresh Nair and Ritesh Shah. “The facts are real. It’s the story of a doctor who stumbles on this conspiracy which is a work of fiction.” Buzz is, Saif Ali Khan has been approached to play the doctor and is presently going through the script. Vipul refuses to be drawn into any comment on the casting saying it’s too premature. All he will say is that it’s a “unique, high-concept drama”, the kind we’ve rarely seen in Hindi cinema.

He has simultaneously been developing another film which he has pitched to Akshay. “But he’s one of the busiest actors around today and given his prior commitments I think the other film will kick off first,” he says. And how does it feel to be back in the saddle? “I feel like it’s my first film as a director but I’ve always felt that way. And unless I feel this way, I can’t put my best foot forward,” he smiles. Given that he’s already spearheaded two sequels does he intend to spin one with his doctor’s story too? “That would depend on how it fares. I don’t plan a film with a franchise in mind.

It would be difficult to take this forward but you never know,” he says, going on to add that John Abraham, Parvez Shaikh, Jasmeet and he have cracked a story for Force 3 and the script is being developed. “We are hoping to roll with it by the year end. Demonetisation did hit the business of Part 2 but it was still appreciated for its performances, style and scale. And the Force is still with us,” he signs off.

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