1. How did you get the idea of the remake?
Initially the thought of a remake never occurred to me. But I wanted to make something with Varun and then suddenly thought of Coolie No. 1. I asked Varun to watch and tell me what he thought, but he did not answer. While he liked the film, he thought it was a difficult film as one of the best actors played the role. Around the same time Vashu ji (Bhagnani) said it’s a damn good film and let’s remake it. Coolie No. 1 was the first film that Vashu and I made together. When I started to work on the film / script, I had to redo everything. I would not have made the film otherwise.
2. You have done a lot of movies with Vashu sir, and now you all are teaming up for this again after 25 years. He said it was a very emotional moment when he saw the trailer. How did you feel about it when the trailer came out together?
I am also the editor of the film, so I had seen the trailer at least 50-60 times before it was launched. But on the release day, it felt different; there was anxiety as to how people would react to it, I was going through several emotions, I was scared. It is also the first time I am entering the OTT space, I have always made films for cinema halls. But the positive reactions I got from big directors and many other people was overwhelming. I have worked on a lot of films but never received such reactions.
3. So again a lot of the songs are the same, we of course have ‘Mummy Kasam’ and others. So why retain those two songs from the original soundtrack?
Songs from the original Coolie No. 1 are hugely popular and timeless; according to me these tracks also helped the film. I was always clear that if I ever made this film again, I would use these blockbuster songs. We have also created a few new songs, like ‘Teri Bhabhi’ and two more, which are also equally good. The songs from the original were created by music director Anand Milind and written by lyricist Sameer, who are close to me. We have done a lot of work together, by including these two songs in the new Coolie No.1 it was my way to payback.
4. There are a bunch of new music directors, so is there any difference in working with someone like Tanishq Bagchi and DJ Chetas. How different was it working with them?
Definitely, there is a difference, they all are exceptionally good music directors but are extremely occupied. Today music is created in the house, I remember in earlier times we would get together and make music. Anand, Sameer and I have sat for many days together to create music; we would have a lot of discussions, and go to theatres. This is one of the differences, but both have their good and bad sides.
5. Do you think ‘Teri Bhabhi’ and ‘Mummy Kasam’ will connect with the audiences as much as the other two songs?
Definitely, Bhabhi song is going to rock it, I am telling you. When music directors Javed and Mohsin made me hear the song the first time, the catch line was the hook. I knew this is a good song and everybody loved this song, it’s not just my decision to have it in the film. And see the first song that comes out has its impression, and that’s the maker’s confidence.
6. We have seen great reactions for Judwaa 2 and everyone’s loved it. How does it feel with the remake coming out soon? How do you feel is the reaction going to be for the Coolie remake considering its very different environment that Judwaa was launched in.
It is going to be good. I’m confident that Amazon Prime Video will do a great job with the release; they have a far reach not just in India but even internationally. They are available across 200 countries and territories in the world. Also, it’s the right time – it’s a fast-paced film and an entertainer for release, as people really need in for these unprecedented times. I feel it is because of the reactions I have been getting and people who have said “ki yeh theek hai (this is good)” they will be the first person to watch the film.
7. 2020 is the 25th year of Coolie release so did you plan to release it to coincide with its 25th anniversary or was it a coincidence that the remake is coming this year or it was planned?
It’s been purely by luck that God has given to us, it’s sheer coincidence, it just happened.