Even as Vikram Bhatt’s upcoming film Raaz Reboot is set to hit theatres soon, the filmmaker has turned producer with his next, ‘1921’. The film is not a follow-up to his earlier hit franchise ‘1920’; instead it is an upgraded version and the fifth franchise after ‘Raaz’, ‘1920’, ‘Haunted’ and ‘Hate Story’. It is, in fact, a record of sorts for any filmmaker to have so many hit franchisees to his credit.
The film will be under Vikram’s own banner ‘Loneranger Productions’ in collaboration with Reliance Entertainment, as he shares, “For too long I have created franchises for other producers and directors. Even when I was with ASA Productions I was only the creative director and made films for the company. ‘1921’ will be my film in every way.” Vikram points out that though he has made 32 films in 25 years as a director, he does not own a single negative which he can leave as his legacy to his daughter, Krishna and with this film he is set to change that.
Talking about kickstarting the new franchisee, Vikram adds, “The idea behind ‘1920’ was to bring horror into a period drama redolent with the romance of the times. But with the next parts, the direction changed and the series became more about horror. ‘1921’, while more terrifying, will also be more emotional.” The film revolves around students of music and is set in a university town.
“We have already signed Zareen Khan who brought in a certain amount of dignity to ‘Hate Story 3’. We could shoot the film in Vienna or Yorkshire, or even somewhere in Italy or Scotland. It will go on the floors in November. With ‘1921’ I will begin a new chapter in my 33-year old career,” adds Vikram.
Ask Vikram on how he came about the name of his production house and he credits it to his mentor-filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. Vikram reveals that around four years ago, when he was working on ‘Raaz 3’, Bhatt had presented him with a picture of a peacock flying in a parched desert, pointing out that he was a lone ranger like this bird as he did everything himself, from writing his films to editing and shooting them. “So that’s how I decided to name my banner, Loneranger Productions.”