Salman Khan: Kept Dabangg open-ended to make way for sequel
Ending 2019 with a bang with Dabangg 3, Salman Khan on how he had envisioned cop caper as franchise even before first part hit screens.
Nine years and three films later, Chulbul Pandey feels like a second skin to Salman Khan. The superstar's investment in the character is evident in the fact that he developed the idea that forms the crux of Dabangg 3. "It is difficult to take a franchise forward," says Khan as the third instalment of the cop caper and one of the biggest releases of 2019 opens today amid high expectations.
The genesis of Dabangg, he explains, was rather humble — after all, in 2010, Khan was coming off a spate of flops with a sole hit in Wanted (2009) keeping him afloat. Attribute it to the wisdom that comes from being part of the industry for years or the good ol' gut feeling, but Khan says he knew he had a winner in the Abhinav Kashyap-directed venture long before it hit screens. "We had kept Dabangg open-ended because we felt that we might come up with a [sequel]. At that point, Arbaaz [Khan, producer] asked if we were probably being a little pompous about the film's [fate] by considering a sequel. I told him, 'If the movie works, well and good; if not, there's nothing we could do'. Fortunately, everyone liked it, so we made Dabangg 2 ."
It took Khan seven years to find an apt story that would take the journey of Bollywood's most loved cop forward. "I came up with the thought for this film, and with Arbaaz, kept improvising on it. We decided to explore Chulbul's past, and that's how the prequel was built. It's always fun to shoot [for this franchise]. Now, when I walk on the sets of Dabangg, I automatically transform from Salman Khan to Chulbul."
Each edition has seen a different director bring his flavour to it. Khan says director Prabhudeva's understanding of the action genre made him the ideal fit for the latest part. "He brought in a different kind of heroism from the South. He understands how one should bring in elements of romance and humour into a film."
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