The 1980s laugh riot The Gods Must Be Crazy now has a desi version. The South African comic caper written and directed by Jamie Uys, which inspired several installments, is being adapted by M J Ramanan for Bollywood.
The rights have been apparently secured to remake the film in an Indian setting. Paresh Rawal and Zareen Khan have been signed for the project while talks are on with Remo D’Souza.
Set in Botswana, the film followed the travails of a tribe who have no knowledge of the world beyond them till a soft drink bottle is thrown out of an aircraft and falls to earth. It exposes the tribe to unknown phenomenon. In the desi setting the bottle has been replaced by Dawood Ibrahim’s mobile phone.
Says Ramanan, “South filmmaker Babu has secured the rights to make it in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. I have adapted the script for the Hindi version and will direct as well with Navin Kumar Sharma as producer. We have set the film in a remote mountainous place in Himachal Pradesh. The soft drink bottle in the original has been replaced with Dawood Ibrahim’s cell phone, as there is also an underworld touch to the script. Paresh essays a gangster in the film.”
In the original, the bottle is considered an evil thing and must be discarded at the edge of the world. As one of the tribesmen sets out on his quest he comes across civilization for the first time, leading to hilarious situations. Similarly Dawood’s apparent cell phone leads to some funny situations.
Adds Ramanan, “We will making an announcement soon once the full cast is finalised.” Ramanan had earlier directed the Jackie Shroff-Sonu Sood-Mandira Bedi film Meri Bhi Suno produced by Pahlaj Nihalani that never saw light of day. He later worked on some Hollywood productions and was also creative director of Zila Ghaziabad.