Tere Bin Laden director indifferent
Bollywood director Abhishek Sharma, who struck box-office gold last year with his spoof Tere Bin Laden (Without You Laden), says he is indifferent to the death of the Al Qaida founder.
"I have been following the news since it happened. I am neither happy nor am I sad. I guess his death will bring a sense of closure for United States. Hopefully they will stop their hunt and get out of Pakistan, Afghanistan," said Sharma in an interview with tabloid! over the phone from Mumbai.
His debut film was a sleeper hit and starred Pakistani pop sensation Ali Zafar, as a scheming journalist desperate for a US permit who pretends to find Bin Laden for a scoop.
So is a sequel to TBL on Sharma's cards? "I don't know, because it all depends on what his death means to the rest of the world, what impact will his death have on the people out there," said Sharma, adding that his wacky comedy was a funny take on the US-led war on terrorism and not about Bin Laden per se.
"Will he become a martyr and messiah in the public domain in the long run is the big question — or will he become a figure like Hitler or Saddam Hussain?
"Osama occupied an interesting position — he was a terrorist for half the world and messiah for the other half. Will the future generations ridicule Osama or revere him? But one thing is clear: If I make a sequel, the script has to be better than the first one."
The director also wrote the screenplay for the original. Though TBL did exceptionally well in India, it was banned in Pakistan. "Now I know why the Pakistani government didn't want it released there, after all he [Bin Laden] was right there," quipped Sharma, adding that he had no plans to re-release the film in Pakistan.
"We lost that possibility when piracy happened. It did so well in the black markets of Pakistan. I don't think we want to open that door again."
Sharma is currently working on the screenplay of yet another comedy. "My next project has no Laden or any kind of terrorism," he said.