Only months after dabbling in action with Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi, Kangana Ranaut has thrown her weight behind the actioner, Dhaakad.
Director Razneesh Ghai points out that Bollywood is surprisingly starved of female action heroes, leading to the genesis of the stylised entertainer.
"There is a big void when it comes to female-oriented action films. I haven't heard of a lead heroine in an out-and-out action entertainer in a contemporary space. That's why we wanted to explore this genre," reasons Ghai, who forays into Bollywood armed with years of ad filmmaking to his credit.'
Tight-lipped about the movie's premise, all the director is willing to let in on is that the script is the result of 10 months of brainstorming between writers Chintan Gandhi, Rinish Ravindra and him.
A subsequent meeting with Ranaut in May set the ball rolling on the project. "She is an intelligent actor who understood that there is an opportunity to attempt something completely different. We are constantly having brainstorming sessions with her, and her ideas have further elevated the film." Ghai adds that given the genre it belongs to, the film will be physically demanding on the leading lady. "I'm not a fan of gravity-defying action sequences, so we will show realistic action. Since the film has many action set-pieces, we are looking at stunt coordinators with different skill sets. We have already met action directors from Hong Kong and Thailand for the Gun Fu [a mix of guns and martial arts] sequence."
Having locked in on the script and his leading lady, the director has now progressed to doing recces before the project goes on floors early next year.
"We are planning to shoot in Thailand, pockets of Europe, mainly Budapest and Prague, and in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We will also have one schedule in North India. Kangana is currently busy with Panga; once she gets time, we will work out the schedule."