"The story was with Shoojit for seven years and he had approached me with the script. It was very close to his heart and we were speaking about making it into a film all these years, but in the middle 'Vicky Donor' happened," John told reporters here.
He was in the city promoting the Tamil-dubbed version of "Madras Cafe", set to release simultaneously with its Hindi version on Aug 23.
"After our last film together, we decided to get back to doing where we started off from. That's the story behind 'Madras Cafe'," he said.
John, who was critically acclaimed for combining art and entertainment with "Vicky Donor", says he personally roots for commercially entertaining films.
"We believe 'MC' is definitely an art film. We are here to make commercial films. When I say commercial, I mean films that eventually make money. We're not just here for making art films, but commercial entertaining ones," he said.
"Most youngsters are not aware of what happened in the early 1980s and 1990s. Our story is set in that era and we hope our film impresses the younger audiences because 80 percent of revenue in multiplexes comes from the youngsters," he added.
Directed by Shoojit Sircar, "Madras Cafe" was predominantly shot in Cochin and some part in Sri Lanka, London, Malaysia and Thailand.
Asked about the ban on his film by a Tamil activist group, John said: "We would love organize a special show for those who are opposing it. I believe once they watch the film they wouldn't find anything to debar. All I want to say is that this film does not take any sides."
The film also stars Nargis Fakhri, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Rashi Khanna in important roles.