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‘Rambo’ in Bollywood is a big responsibility, says director

Director Siddharth Anand explains why he chose Tiger Shroff for the lead role

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Siddharth Anand, who is directing the Indian remake of iconic Hollywood film Rambo, explained why he approached Tiger Shroff to fill Sylvester Stallone’s shoes.

“I was certain I wanted a young boy for it. Tiger [we] felt [was] just a natural and apt choice for us. Fortunately, he loved it and came on board,” Anand said.

The director also clarified that he had discussed Rambo with Hrithik Roshan because he is his good friend and confidante, not with an intention to cast him.

“Hrithik and I have an equation or a relationship which is of great trust and respect, and the fact is that we are constantly talking about doing something together. We almost did Fighter together, which eventually didn’t happen last year.

Anand has worked on two films each with Saif Ali Khan and Ranbir Kapoor back to back. His debut directorial Salaam Namaste and the following film Ta Ra Rum Pum was with Khan, while his subsequent projects Bachna Ae Haseeno and Anjaana Anjaani were with Kapoor.

So, one was hoping he would keep the pattern going with Roshan after Bang Bang!.

“Hrithik and I were clear we wouldn’t do another remake immediately after Bang Bang! [the official adaptation of Knight and Day]. We are working on multiple ideas,” added Anand. “I chat with Hrithik on everything I do. He’s one of the first people to know whenever I do something. He’s more like an elder brother to me.”

Just two days before the launch of the Rambo poster at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, Anand had shown it to Roshan, who had loved it and told the director that Shroff was befitting for the part.

Roshan had even spread the buzz for the film, calling Shroff a “notable asset to the industry owing to the discipline and dedication” that he has.

“After we completed the script, we deliberated a lot on the casting. It could draw a lot of polarised opinion on the casting because you take Sylvester Stallone and say this guy is going to portray a character immortalised by Stallone. It’s too big a shoe to fill in, too big a responsibility,” Anand said.

“Tiger has made waves with the poster,” Anand added, adding how it was very encouraging for the team when Hollywood’s original Rambo, Sylvester Stallone, tweeted it.

“I don’t know which American star has posted an Indian film’s poster. I think he’s enthused about the film and he is also eager to see what we will do,” added the director.

The Rambo remake aside, Anand will also helm Love In Beijing, a co-production by India and China.

“It is a fantastic global opportunity to showcase what India can do. I am working with local crew and talent there. It’s a huge opportunity and I am looking forward to it,” he added.

Rambo is likely to go into production in February 2018.