Aamir was invited on board 'Ghajini' by film's villain: Producer

Mumbai, Dec 28 (IANS) Aamir Khan's "Ghajini" may be running to packed houses, but not many know that it was the film's villain Pradeep Rawat who got the superstar interested in the movie that was originally made in Tamil.

"Aamir Khan usually has Diwali parties at his house. It was at one of these parties that Pradeep Rawat, who has worked with him in a couple of films like 'Lagaan' and 'Sarfarosh', told him about the film," said Madhu Mantena, one of the producers of "Ghajini".

Rawat had played the villain in the Tamil version that starred Surya and Asin Thottumkal in the lead roles.

"Rawat told him that he had just worked in a film down south that had become a huge hit and now the producers wanted to remake it in Hindi. Mr. Khan saw the film, liked it and was immediately on board," Mantena, who is COO of Sa Re Ga Ma films division, told IANS.

Rawat, Asin and director A.R. Murugadoss are the common links between the Tamil version and the Hindi remake.

Then why is Surya, the lead actor of the Tamil version, not part of the film?

"If you have a chance of producing a film with Aamir Khan, would you go for producing it with Surya?" the producer quipped.

Mantena, who worked as CEO of Ram Gopal Varma's Factory for four years, said being a producer was his long-term ambition and he could not have thought of a better project for his maiden venture.

Allu Arvind, one of the biggest producers down south, had bought the rights of "Ghajini" and was planning to remake it in Hindi.

"As we have been partners for a long time, Allu Arvind offered me to produce the film and I thought it was the best offer to venture into my long-time ambition of being a producer," Mantena said.

Mantena said he now plans to dub the film in Spanish and release it in the US and Spain in about two months' time.

"Usually most big films are dubbed in German and released in Germany, but we are dubbing 'Ghajini' in Spanish because I feel Spanish emotions are very close to Indian emotions."

He said that though Spain has a small market, it would get good play in the US.

"The Spanish community is the second largest community after the Americans in the US. So we plan to give it a mainstream Spanish release in the US. We are mainly targeting the west coast and Mexican borders that have a huge Spanish population," Mantena said.

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