'Highway' was the first film that Imtiaz, 42, wrote and over the years he has altered the story a lot. "I have thought of making 'Highway' in various ways. There was a time when I was thinking of making a very big action film.
I wrote the script also at that time and I don't know where the script is. I tried making it in a very romantic way, some 12 years back I was thinking about it like 'Qayamat se Qayamat Tak'. It changed forms many a times," Imtiaz said in an interview here.
"The film is about discovery of yourself while travelling. It's coming of the age movie," he said. This is Imtiaz's first film where he did not even have the script while shooting. "This is the only film I have shot where the script was not ready.
The script got ready after the shooting of the scene because the dialogues were decided on the spot. I could afford to do that because I knew the story, I knew that I won't go away from the basic story," he said.
From his directorial debut 'Socha Na Tha' to 'Rockstar' and now his upcoming film 'Highway', travel has always been a part of Imtiaz's films. "The story of 'Highway' is completely about travel.
It is about the fascination of travel to an extent that I don't want to even reach the destination and also being away from society gives you a certain view of the society, so that was the intension of the film," he said.
Imtiaz has worked with stars like Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor in the past but with 'Highway' he has experimented with the casting. The film has newcomer Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda.
He insists the decision was made purely on the basis of suitability factor. "I needed somebody who is city slick girl... Who has never been out. But the guy had to be somebody who has had a life and understanding of life," he said.
On why he did not chose his actor friend Ranbir Kapoor for the film, the director said, "My job is to tell a story and the decisions about the casting have to be honest. It (casting) has to be done to the merit of the film.
If I take Ranbir Kapoor in the movie to make this more attractive for a bigger opening, it will sink, which won't do any good to the actor or me." This film is set to release in February next year.