Will we finally see Hera Pheri 3?

Akshay Kumar changed his image, and so did Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal with Hera Pheri. Photo: Song Video Grab

The portal www.bollywoodhungama.com reports that finally, Hera Pheri 3 will be made by producer Firoz Nadiadwala with the same three protagonists—Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Paresh ‘Baburao’ Rawal.

The comic caper Hera Pheri (2000) remains a landmark in the annals of Hindi cinema. Not only did it revolutionize the caliber of comedy in mainstream Hindi cinema, but it also showed that total comedies could be commercially more than feasible even with big stars. The film also changed Akshay Kumar’s image from a mere action hero and made him an ace comic hero, it did the same for Suniel Shetty as well. Paresh, of course, became a kind of national on-screen icon and the film consolidated his comic image after Chachi 420 in 1997. He too had till then acquired a dominant image as a villain.

The sequel, Phir Hera Pheri (2006), also turned out to be a money-spinner. In the last two decades and more, Hera Pheri achieved cult status, and though its sequel did even better business, it remained a lesser film. Which again did not mean that people forgot those iconic characters and every rumor and news about part 3 was welcomed, even when announced, some years back, with Suniel Shetty, Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Paresh Rawal.

Producer Firoz Nadiadwala, who had been initially skeptical about the success of Hera Pheri, as filmed by Priyadarshan, has stated that this time, the famous original trio of actors will be repeated, as this is a new story. “The story is in place,” the producer told the portal, adding, “It will be made in the same way, retaining the innocence of the characters. We can’t take past achievements for granted. So, we have to be extra careful in terms of our content, story, screenplay, characters, mannerisms etc.”

A couple of names have been shortlisted as directors (Priyadarshan had refused to helm the sequel, which was done by the late Neeraj Vora, who was to direct the third part that was announced as well). Well, my guesses include Anees Bazmee and Indra Kumar, but I could be totally off-target.

Firoz added that wants to ensure that the film does consistent business. “The moment you take anything for granted, it falls. Because we hope that God willing, we can make more parts – Hera Pheri 4, Hera Pheri 5, etc. And it should be better than the earlier parts. We hope that there will be a new film released every 15 months. Isn’t this how the West operates? Don’t we get a new Spider-Man or Bond film soon after the previous part has been released in the cinemas?” he told the portal.

The only illogical aspect of the franchise was the change in heroines. Tabu was cast opposite Suniel in the first film. Bipasha Basu and Rimi Sen were in the sequel. But, commercially speaking, these kind of things are common in Hindi cinema. Rimi Sen was Abhishek Bachchan’s co-star in Dhoom, had a cameo with him in Dhoom:2, but disappeared in Dhoom:3. Both Hera Pheri and Dhoom were true franchises where the stories continued, otherwise, with the same two or three principal characters.



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