"Next film?"
By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, June 2 - After Kambakkht Ishq proved a dud, director Sabbir Khan hit the bull's eye with Heropanti, which collected over Rs.21 crore in the openning weekend. He thanks his producer Sajid Nadiadwala for trusting him and giving him another opportunity.

I went through a period of huge uncertainty after 'Kambakkht Ishq'. My career could've ended even before it started. It was my producer Sajid Nadiadwala whose faith kept me going. He believed in me even when everybody else wrote me off, said Khan, whose directorial debut starring Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor was also produced by Nadiadwala.

Not many know that Sabbir was keen to direct Chetan Bhagat's bestseller 2 States for Nadiadwala. But then the project became a Nadiadwala-Karan Johar joint venture and the film's direction was given to Karan's protege Abhishek Varman.

Khan admits: I read '2 States' and recommended it to Sajid. At that point of time I wasn't in a position to get a prize directorial assignment like '2 States'.

Heropanti, which launched two new faces - Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanaon, happened suddenly when Nadiadwala wanted to remake Telugu film Paragu.

It was an out-and-out formula film. But there was something very endearing about the story, said Khan who gave it a twist.

I turned it around completely. It's hard to say why it clicked. But the Tiger Shroff-Kriti Sanon pair has been really liked.

Also, beneath the flirting, courtship and banter, the film has a serious message on why honour killing must be eradicated from our society and why women must be respected.

However, he is a little hurt but not surprised by the negative reviews.

I didn't really expect to be praised. But I didn't expect such a barrage of adverse comments. We made the film that we believed in. I am really happy for Tiger and Kriti.

Just before the film's release, Tiger was bombarded with ridicule on the internet.

I was a first-hand witness to the mean comments. I was more upset by them than Tiger who took them in his stride. I've faced my share of ridicule. Luckily, it's all in the past now, he said.

Next film?

Won't be a remake. But I will make it only for Sajid Nadiadwala, promises Khan.

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