Bollywood star Sunny Deol is basking in the blockbuster success of “Gadar 2,” which is in the process of breaking Indian box office records.
Written by Shaktimaan Talwar and directed by Anil Sharma, “Gadar 2” is a sequel to 2001 smash hit “Gadar,” which was set after the partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan in the 1947-54 period. It revolved around the adventures of Tara Singh (Deol) and Sakeena (Ameesha Patel), and there was plenty of action set in Pakistan. “Gadar 2” picks up in 1971 against the backdrop of the India-Pakistan war and features their son Charanjeet (Utkarsh Sharma).
The Zee Studios film, which opened on Aug. 11, has earned $57.3 million worldwide to date and is going strong. The film is now the third highest-grossing Indian film of the year after Shah Rukh Khan’s “Pathaan” and Rajinikanth’s “Jailer,” and is on track to surpass the latter given its current momentum.
“We make films for the people and that’s where we need to connect. The beauty is that we connected and they’ve connected,” Deol tells Variety. “The last I saw this kind of celebration happening was when ‘Gadar’ released and the people were enjoying and celebrating it. And after that, one is getting to see all this. I’m just on top of the world and feeling so happy.”
Deol says that the team didn’t want to return to “Gadar” until they’d found the right subject. Prior to the premiere of “Gadar 2,” Zee Studios restored “Gadar” and re-released it.
“I was sure that the people who have watched that film [‘Gadar’], they will love the film,” Deol says. “Either they will love it or they’ll hate it, it won’t be anywhere in between — first day, second day it’s gone or it will touch their hearts and then they will take it the way they took the other one. And I was very positive, they will take it ahead.”
Shariq Patel, chief business officer of Zee Studios, told Variety that they would consider “Gadar 3” but only if they find the right story. Deol is also not ruling it out. “Now, it’s become an Indian Marvel hero. Tara Singh has become a character who is backed by God and no other superpowers,” Deol says. He credits the success of the film to its honest portrayal of the core family unit, which is always popular with Indian audiences.
“Gadar 2” continues the resurgence of the Bollywood box office, which had a dismal 2022. Like “Pathaan” before it, “Gadar 2” saw the revival of a few shuttered single-screen cinemas in India. “I’m basically a believer of the silver screen, digital and all the formats are there, but they go hand in glove with one another,” Deol says. “There are certain projects which you can only do for the silver screen. And there are certain projects which need stories that you can layer out with each character, and you can go on and on with it. So those are good for the digital platforms.”
Deol is also keen on acting in streaming projects. “There are so many subjects which I want to do but I know they will not function for the cinema,” Deol says. “Over there, there is no fear of the box office.”
On the back of the “Gadar 2” success, there have been a few announcements made in India regarding his future projects. The actor shuts them down firmly, saying, “I will be taking the call whenever, whatever I’m doing — at the moment everybody’s talking, that I’m doing this and that, lots of talks. I’m not aware of it.”
Confirmed upcoming projects for Deol include crime thriller “Soorya” and action film “Baap.” He has produced and directed in the past, but there are no plans to wear those hats again. “I’m not going to direct and I’m not going to produce anymore because it took a lot out of me — it took the actor away from me,” he says. “You can only do one job, not so many jobs. So I just felt like putting an end to all of them and stick[ing] to my original job, which is acting.”
- Sunny Deol Talks ‘Gadar 2’ Blockbuster Success: ‘It’s Become an Indian Marvel Hero’ (EXCLUSIVE)
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