Saif Ali Khan: No problems with Agent Vinod director


By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, Sept. 2 -- Buzz is that Sriram Raghavan is peeved with his Agent Vinod producer-actor Saif Ali Khan. The duo had set out to film the spy thriller on the lines of the Bourne Identity and the Bond series. A shoot was planned in Morocco with the Prince Of Persia action director, Cedric Proust. But apparently the 10-day schedule went awry over permission to shoot at some locations, because the budget turned out to be steeper.

Some dramatic scenes were canned in an effort to cut corners, and the stunts have supposedly been re-structured and will be shot in another location and in Afghanistan. An upset Raghavan has been told that he would have to make do with a less expensive action director for the shoots in England and India to ensure that Khan's home production remains commercially viable.

When quizzed on the subject just before he flew off to Rigga in Latvia for another schedule, Khan categorically denied having had any creative differences with his director. "Agent Vinod is a difficult film to produce since we are shooting it in difficult countries. We have our good and bad days. But there is no question of moving to nicer, easier locations. There has never been any talk of shooting elsewhere to cut the budget. I think Sriram is happy, we've got kickass stuff in the cans," he asserted.

The actor who plays a secret agent has been training in martial arts for the film. As a producer, he has been on several recces to scout for unexplored locations. While on a holiday with girlfriend, Kareena Kapoor, also the leading lady in the film, Khan convinced his architect friend Jouad to let him film at the Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma Hotel, situated in the exclusive Palmeraie beneath the Atlas Mountains in Marrakech. The luxury resort had earlier been passed off as Abu Dhabi in Sex And The City 2. One afternoon while lunching with his co-producer Dinesh Vijan at a cafe in Marrakech, Khan heard a local musician play a tune of a three-stringed lute called the guembri and picked it up in five minutes.