Akshay turns gangster in May!

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By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, Jan. 23 -- This summer, actor Akshay Kumar will step into the shoes of a Mumbai gangster for the Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai (2010) sequel, rumoured to be inspired by the life of Dawood Ibrahim.

Writer Rajat Arora and director Milan Luthria, who will be teaming up on this project after The Dirty Picture (2011), confirm the news. Milan, who was judged Best Director at the Colors' Screen Awards last week, admits his crew will shoot mostly in the Maximum City. "We've found quite a few locations that work for us. When we were filming Once Upon A Time... we didn't really go out of town to shoot. We managed to get our locations within certain old-world pockets of Mumbai," he recalls.

For the Ajay DevgnKangna Ranaut original, based loosely on the life of don Haji Mastan, both the writer and the director had undertaken massive research to make the characters look and feel authentic. Is that the case this time too?

"We researched in such great detail while working on the first film that we have enough for the second. Of course, we have added a lot more to it now," says Rajat, adding that he always knew a sequel was on the cards. "We were really praying for the original to sail through, and it did. Milan and I have also become a strong team over the years. So there are sky-high expectations from our next. I'm keeping fingers crossed."

The sequel to the love story set in the underworld was announced by producer Ekta Kapoor a year ago at an awards function timed with a dance performance by Akshay. Subsequently, speculation began as to who'd play the gangster's love interest on-screen, with names like Kareena Kapoor and Vidya Balan being thrown in the mix. Milan says with a smile, "It will be a commercially successful actor, but we haven't finalised anyone yet."