He's geared up to don a superhero's avatar in an animated TV series for the first time, but Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan believes every hero in the Indian film industry is no less than a superhero.
Amitabh Bachchan at Astra Force conference. Pic/IANS
The 72-year-old has lent his looks and voice to an animated superhero called Astra for "Astra Force", a funny and fast paced, action-adventure series which will go on air only in early 2017.
Asked if he was offered any superhero role in his younger days, Amitabh told IANS over from Mumbai: “No... But I imagine all Indian heroes are superheroes. They take care of a lot of things. They get most beautiful women, fight 50 to 60 villains at the same time and jump off skyscrapers without a scratch... what more do you want?”
Amitabh has collaborated with Graphic India for the series, which will come on Disney Channel India. What's interesting is that Astra the superhero sports a similar beard as Big B's real avatar.
“Astra is of my age, so the look on the face is the look that I have right now except that I’ll be given some superpowers. There are two younger kids… a girl and a boy. They are part of the story," he said.
The actor, who has earlier acted in films like "Bhoothnath" and "Bhoothnath Returns" which have appealed to his younger fans, says "Astra Force" will be "children-friendly".
"Every time there is a problem, just like you look at Batman or Superman for help, they will be calling Astra - the superhero who will solve their problems. We are still working on the stories," Big B added.
There's still a year before the makers can give the 52-episode series for broadcast.
At the heart of it, "Astra Force" tells the story of a mythical hero from a distant world, who was stranded on Earth millions of years ago after an epic space battle.
When eight-year-old brother and sister twins accidentally awaken the mythical superhero from his long hibernation, they must teach him about our modern world and join Astra to save the universe from a new wave of giant monsters and intergalactic threats.
If monsters weren’t enough, Astra’s new young friends also have to hide the superhero from their parents and deal with Astra’s insatiable hunger for modern desserts after an eternity spent in hibernation.
The “Shahenshah” star refused to reveal what kind of superpowers Astra will possess, but he shared that “most elements that he will possess as far as powers are concerned will be the strongest”.
If it’s a superhero story, there has to be a villain.
“There will be a villain. That’s part of the creativity. We will be creating stories... animation is a lengthy process. We need that time and when it starts, hopefully you will be inspired by it,” said the Big B.
The actor, who has done TV shows like "Yudh" and "Kaun Banega Crorepati", hopes the animation series becomes a hit among children, and eventually they "hope to make a film out of it".
The grandfather of three even hopes "India progresses in the field of animation, a feature which has not been so prominent".
He has done action, romance and more on the big screen and now he is making his debut in animation TV series. What else is left to explore?
“These things just keep dropping into my lap. I feel humbled and honoured that somebody thinks of me even now at this age...new ideas, new thoughts keep coming in and I thank them for thinking of me. Hope I am able to give my best,” said the “Piku” star, who will next be seen in “Wazir” on the silver screen.