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Coming back with a bang: Director Sanjay Gupta is leading ‘Mumbai Saga’

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Mumbai Saga

With the completion of 25 years in the Hindi Film Industry, filmmaker Sanjay Gupta is ready to helm the director’s seat with ‘Mumbai Saga’ produced by Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series.

Set in the 1980s-’90s and revolving around all that went into transforming Bombay into Mumbai, this gangster-drama, is an ensemble film. Starring John Abraham, Emraan Hashmi, Jackie Shroff, Suniel Shetty, Prateik Babbar, Gulshan Grover, Rohit Roy, Amole Gupte, and others, this film will go on floors next month.

Speaking on the film, producer Bhushan Kumar said, “Mumbai Saga is our first in the gangster-drama genre and who better than Sanjay to direct it. The film is inspired by true events yet makes the characters so larger than life. The entire cast will bring so much to the table.”

Sanjay Gupta adds, “25 years, 17 films later I had to give my audience something bigger and better. ‘Mumbai Saga’ is by far my most ambitious film which needed a visionary producer and I am grateful to Bhushan Kumar for putting his faith and might in it. This is one such story that needs to be said on screen.”

The Director also says that although his 25-year-long career is full of “hits and misses”, but looking back, he feels happy that he has managed to bounce back overcoming every adversity.

The film is likely to release in 2020.

Best known for his films such as “Kaante”, “Musafir”, “Zinda”, the “Shootout” series and the recent “Kaabil” starring Hrithik Roshan, Yami Gautam, Ronit Roy, Rohit Roy, Urvashi Rautela, etc., Gupta tasted success early by 40, he was on the verge of quitting the industry over some “terrible years” in between.

Gupta’s directorial debut was exactly 25 years ago with “Aatish: Feel The Fire”. The film, starring Sanjay Dutt, Raveena Tandon, Aditya Pancholi among others, was backed by GP Sippy.

Featuring an ensemble of Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, Lucky Ali, Mahesh Manjrekar among others, “Kaante” gave him a solid footing in the gangster-thriller genre. However, then came the unspoken boycott from the industry following his fallout with Dutt.

“‘Kaante’ happened and one didn’t have to look back till there was a gap again just before ‘Shootout at Wadala’ of almost four years. Ninety per cent of the film industry wasn’t willing to work with me. They were told to not work with me after my fallout with Sanju,” Gupta told PTI.

The director also said that though Dutt never instructed anyone to stop working with him, there were people around the actor who told others not to collaborate with Gupta.

“That was an exceptionally low phase. I had almost given up. I had started work on a hotel in Khandala and used to go there four days a week. I thought this is my future since I won’t be getting work in the industry,” he said.

Things changed the day his son was born and he reflected on what he had turned into.

“Ekta Kapoor and I had spoken about a sequel of ‘Shootout’. So I picked up the phone and told her, ‘I’m ready’ and that’s it. Later, I met John Abraham and Anil Kapoor and they said yes. But they were also told not to work with me.”

The director credits Kapoor for supporting him at a time when only some were willing to have his back.

Gupta said that he learnt the hard way that there are no friendships in Bollywood.

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