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Dil Raju on 'Jaanu', movies of Pawan & Mahesh and more

Monday, February 3, 2020 • Tamil Comments

Dil Raju on Jaanu, movies of Pawan & Mahesh and more

Dil Raju awaits the release of 'Jaanu' on February 7. In this interview, the ace producer talks about what made him want to remake the Tamil flick '96' in Telugu as 'Jaanu', working with director C Premkumar, Samantha and Sharwanand, his projects with Pawan Kalyan and Mahesh Babu and more.

Not against remakes

I was not against remakes even when I didn't do films like 'Jaanu' and 'Pink' remake. As someone who has always worked closely with scriptwriters since the days of 'Dil', I didn't show much interest in remakes. I did want to remake 'Premam' and 'Bangalore Days' a few years ago. They excited me when I watched their original versions. Nani and Sharwanand did evince interest in collaborating with me on 'Bangalore Days'. Somehow, the project didn't happen. When 'Premam' was to be remade, Naga Vamsi of Sitara Entertainments came to me with the offer of doing it himself.

How 'Jaanu' happened

A remake needs extraordinary inspiration. As a producer, I must feel that I shouldn't miss it at any cost. Incidentally, I am producing three remakes this year. 'Jaanu', the Pawan Kalyan movie and the Hindi remake of 'Jersey'. As for 'Jaanu', whose original version is '96', I started following the movie right since the time its Tamil teaser was released. I contacted the producer of '96' through a distributor. Despite language barriers, the Tamil original bowled me over. I talked with the producer right after the screening of '96' and bought remake rights.

What is best about 'Jaanu'

I loved the flow in '96'. The scenes are amazing and the element of the reunion of childhood sweethearts impressed me big-time. Most childhood love stories end up in a break-up. There is purity in such stories. On an emotional level, such stories are highly relatable. I am sure that the Telugu audience will connect with 'Jaanu'.

Working with Premkumar

C Premkumar directed the original version as well. He had worked on 'Arya' as an assistant cameraman. I felt that only he should direct the remake. I spoke to him and conveyed my offer quite early on. After seeing the reception of the Tamil audience to '96', I finalized the deal with the director.

I wanted to touch this classic

Many did tell me that I shouldn't remake '96', which is a classic. Classics are usually not touched by others. I happened to show '96' to Nani, who felt that it's superb. Bunny said that it's a classic.

Changes made in the remake

Besides critical acclaim, '96' was a blockbuster in Tamil. Even the Telugu audience listened to its music despite language barriers. Coming to the changes made in 'Jaanu', we decided that 5-6 changes must be made. That's how we have made the film. Since the film has a certain vibe about it, I didn't force anything on the director. 'Jaanu' has to be watched with heart. Even though I had watched the Tamil version, watching 'Jaanu' still felt fresh.

The lead pair has nailed it

Samantha was apprehensive about doing 'Jaanu'. Once convinced and she started shooting for the movie, she started feeling the magic. 'I would have missed out a lot had you not convinced me to do the remake,' she told me. Both Samantha and Sharwanand have owned the film completely. Right from the beginning, the director was confident that Samantha would pull off the role remarkably. However, he was a bit unsure about Sharwa. Contrary to his fears, Sharwa has delivered an amazing performance. We didn't go in for Trisha Krishnan, as she had already done the movie in Tamil. I could imagine only Samantha for the role.

Dil Raju on Jaanu, movies of Pawan & Mahesh and more

Thank you, Prabhas!

I must thank Prabhas and UV Creations for parting with the title 'Jaanu'. I contacted producer Vamsi before zeroing in on the title. Prabhas' film with director Radhakrishna was to be titled 'Jaanu'. Since their film will take time to be completed, they readily agreed to part with the title. They might go with 'Jaan' as the title. Since Prabhas' film is a big project, people will not remember our film's title.

Sankranthi's winner is film industry

The real winner of this Sankranthi is the film industry. When films of two big stars release, either both of them become hits or both of them turn out to be average. Or, just one of them scores a hit. This time, both the films (referring to 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo' and 'Sarileru Neekevvaru') have become blockbusters. Both of them registered sensational figures.

On Pawan's next movie

We are planning to release Pawan Kalyan garu's movie ('Pink' remake) on May 15. It was in May that 'Gabbar Singh' released in 2012. We are determined to ensure that it releases for Summer. The title will be announced on Ugadi. We will think about promoting the movie once Nani's 'V' releases on March 25.

On Mahesh's next

Mahesh Babu's next movie will be under our banner. Vamsi Paidipally will direct it. It's currently in the scripting stage.

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