Akshay Kumar set for action-comedy with Nikhil Advani


By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Feb 28 (IANS) Action-comedy is Akshay Kumar's forte and Nikhil Advani's "Chandni Chowk To China" seems to be just what the box office doctors ordered.

"Action and comedy are Akshay's forte and I'm glad to direct him in a film that is written by someone else," Advani told IANS.

"I realised I went wrong in the scripting of 'Salaam-e-Ishq'. I should've edited the script more ruthlessly. Here, all I've to do is to put it all on film," Advani added.

Jointly produced by Warner Brothers and Rohan Sippy, "Chandni Chowk To China" fits the athletic star like a glove. It will give Akshay a chance to return to his rugged "Khiladi" roots, with lots of sophisticated fight sequences thrown in.

"It's an action comedy. It's a very big film to be shot in the Far East with very sophisticated technical effects done abroad. It would be more than 'Dhoom 2', but would be very much like 'Dhoom' in mood. 'Dhoom' had more comic elements.... Call it talent or luck, but right now I'm only riding piggyback on the reputation of Rohan Sippy and Akshay," Advani revealed.

The director started shooting the film Feb 22 in different parts of China, including Shanghai. He plans to wrap it up in May. In fact, the film will have many action scenes involving martial artistes.

The rather disappointing performance of "Salaam-e-Ishq" hasn't dampened director Advani's spirits. He's ready to bounce back with a mammoth action movie.

The other film based on the life of a child from an orphanage that Advani wanted to make right after "Salaam-e-Ishq" has been put on hold.

"That script is taking longer than I thought it would. So I've decided to move to a ready-made script. My long-standing buddy Rohan Sippy had already worked out the script with Sridhar Raghavan. When they narrated it to me, I though they just wanted my opinion on it. When Rohan asked me to direct it, I agreed on condition that I can also be the producer. We're working out the modalities of the co-production."

Advani has known Rohan for 20 years.

"My wife and Rohan are best of friends. So it's all in the family. I'm making an action-comedy for the first time. It's a good opportunity to try something different. Also I've never worked with Akshay before. He seems to be good fun."

Akshay, who is paired with Deepika Padukone, gave four hits last year - "Namastey London", "Heyy Babyy", "Welcome" and "Bhool Bhulaiyaa".