Manoj Bajpai wants more!

Published: Dec 16, 2011, 08:30 IST | Subhash K Jha |

The actor has refused to slash his fee to act in Sanjay Gupta's 'Shootout At Wadala'; negotiations have now reached a stalemate

The actor has refused to slash his fee to act in Sanjay Gupta's 'Shootout At Wadala'; negotiations have now reached a stalemate

According to filmmaker Sanjay Gupta, Manoj Bajpai alone can do justice to the role of Dawood Ibrahim's brother Sabir Kaskar, in his next film Shootout At Wadala.

However, there seems to be a glitch. Apparently, Bajpai is quoting a fee that Gupta cannot afford to pay. However, to be a part of Gupta's controversial real-life police-encounter drama, John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Vivek Overoi and Tusshar Kapoor have all slashed their remuneration by half.

Though Gupta and Bajpai are 4 am friends, the negotiations have reportedly reached an impasse. Says a source, "Manoj's secretary has asked for Rs 1 crore, while Sanjay Gupta's total budget for the film is R 10 crore.

While Gupta feels Bajpai is getting the role of a lifetime,  the latter feels a price-cut at this stage of his career, when his solo-hero film Lanka has opened to abysmal attendance, would send out the wrong signal to prospective producers."

Gupta was forthright enough to admit there's a remuneration issue with his buddy. "But I'd never take advantage of my friendship with Manoj to get him to give me a discount. No way! He should realise the importance of this role for his career.

Dawood has been played many times on screen. But no one has played Sabir. Not much is known about him though he played a crucial part in Ibrahim's destiny. In fact when Manoj heard my writer Milap Jhaveri's scenes and lines for Sabir's character, he simply jumped with joy. But the money issue needs to be resolved."

Gupta confirms that the rest of the cast has reduced their fee. Says Gupta, "I won't reveal what they're charging. But yes, all the actors including John have slashed their fees drastically. I am making Shootout At Wadala against impossible odds. Every actor has gone out of his way to be accommodating."

Bajpai puts the ball in Gupta's court as he points out, "Of course I want to do Sabir Kaskar's role. Which actor wouldn't? I am ready to discuss the price.
Do you know I did Sanjay Gupta's Acid Factory almost free of cost? My wife, who is very close to Gupta, had also put in an appearance in the film. I am not saying I won't do it for anything less than the price I'm asking for."

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