Sharing the way ahead for the spy universe, director Siddharth Anand keen to revive John and Tiger’s characters from Pathaan and War
He has the Hindi film industry’s biggest hit to his name, but Siddharth Anand believes in looking ahead. Within 10 days of Pathaan’s release, the director dived head-long into the shoot of Fighter with Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone. “At the time, I was shooting in Kashmir. Last week, we completed Fighter’s third schedule in Hyderabad. Right now, I am like a robot, without any emotion. That is good because it helps me work harder. I work with blinders on,” begins the filmmaker as he focuses on the aerial action thriller.
With Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan, Anand added another building block to the YRF spy universe that comprises the Tiger franchise, led by Salman Khan, and Roshan’s War (2019). Much has been said about how these spies will cross paths in the upcoming movies. But is it the end of the road for the other memorable characters — be it Tiger Shroff’s Khalid in War, or John Abraham’s Jim from the January 25 release, both of whom were shown dead in the respective films? Does Anand, who helmed War, see the possibility of Khalid returning in the sequel? “I’d love to bring him back. Khalid’s character is beautiful, as was the way Tiger played it. There is so much we can do — whether it’s a prequel with Khalid, or [explore the possibility of] him still being alive. It’s too early to talk about it.”
The actor played Khalid, an earnest agent, in War
The director is more assured of Jim’s future. Ever since Pathaan’s release, fans have been keen that Abraham’s character — a former undercover agent who went rogue after a personal tragedy — get his own spin-off film. Anand shares, “I am confident that Jim is coming back. It’s so gratifying that John has got so much love from the audience because he took a risk by playing a villain. He had the foresight to know that it could work. I didn’t convince him, Adi [Aditya Chopra] did. John wouldn’t have done this kind of a role for anybody except Adi.”
Reports suggest that a tent-pole actioner, which will see a face-off between Shah Rukh’s Pathaan and Salman’s Tiger, is being planned. When probed, Anand says, “I’d love to be given the opportunity [to direct it], but right now, I am consumed with Fighter.”