John Abraham is villain in a YRF film again after 18 years

John Abraham plays a negative lead in Yash Raj Films’ Pathaan 18 years after their production, Dhoom. Photo: Yash Raj Films

It is the golden rule of cinema, especially Indian cinema, that the villain must be a very strong personality for the hero (or heroine) to shine. Legendary villains like Pran, Prem Chopra, Ajit, both Vinod Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha when they were baddies, Danny Denzongpa, Amjad Khan and Amrish Puri have proved this maxim from time immemorial.

What, for example, would Ram Aur Shyam be minus Pran, Sholay be without Amjad Khan’s Gabbar Singh or Mr India with a lesser actor than Amrish Puri? And when heroes began to don negative caps, we were equally impacted by Ajay Devgn in Deewangee, Rishi Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt in the 2012 Agneepath or John Abraham in Dhoom.

Now, 18 years after that Yash Raj Films’ blockbuster, John Abraham has wowed everyone again in Pathaan’s teaser, where he plays the role of Shah Rukh Khan’s arch-enemy! John has been presented in an uber-cool avatar, a villain who is not just a ruthless mercenary but someone who wants total destruction of his enemy.

Director Siddharth Anand (Bang Bang!, War) says that only John could have played the role with so much panache and that he was thrilled that he accepted Pathaan! He stated, “For Pathaan to be larger than life, we needed to have a towering villain who is equally larger than life. We wanted someone who is ruthless and suave and commands an electric presence on screen! So the villain in Pathaan was written keeping John Abraham in mind.”

The filmmaker adds, “John was our first and only choice, and we were certain that we wanted a villain that they would cherish forever. I’m delighted to see the response that people have showered on John as he takes on Shah Rukh Khan in a blood-soaked, adrenaline-pumping rivalry that will be epic in every sense possible. John is the perfect opposite of Pathaan on screen and we have made their rivalry look deliciously edge-of-the-seat.” He further promises, “It will be one hell of a thrilling showdown.”

Pathaan is set to release January 25, 2023 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Salman Khan makes a cameo as Tiger. This is the fourth Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika Padukone film after Om Shanti Om, Chennai Express and Happy New Year and, very interestingly, each one of them has Vishal-Shekhar (now termed ‘Vishal and Sheykhar’) as composers.



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