Zayed replaces Bobby in 'Mission Istanbul'

Aug 15, 2007 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Aug 15 (IANS) Bobby Deol, currently riding the wave of success with his lauded performances in "Jhoom Barabar Jhoom" and "Apne", is out of Apoorva Lakhia's "Mission Istanbul". Zayed Khan has stepped into his place.

"I'm happy Zayed had stepped in. I guess he brings a different mood to the role from Bobby," Lakhia told IANS.

This is Lakhia's first film with Zayed.

"I've seen a couple of his films. He's young and cocky. We can play on that. He plays a young inexperienced guy in a mature world," he added.

Explaining the reason behind this change in the cast, Lakhia said: "We were supposed to go on the floors on Aug 1 but because of Ramzan and Eid the date got pushed up with the result that Bobby can no longer do the project. It's sad because he was the first one I signed."

The film is going to be shot extensively in Turkey.

"The film requires 60 days in Turkey at a stretch. And I've to finish it by the end of November before winter sets in and the days get short and cold."

Apart from Zayed, the final cast for "Mission Istanbul" comprises of Viveik Oberoi, Suniel Shetty, Shabbir Ahluwalia, newcomer Niket Dheer (actor Pankaj Dheer's son) and Shreya Saran who was last seen in "Aawarapan".

Abhishek Bachchan will also make an appearance in the film.

"How can I ever make a film without Abhishek?" said Lakhia, known to stick to a film's budget.

"I shot 'Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost' in 41 days and 'Ek Ajnabee' in 39 days. 'Shootout At Lokhandwala' was shot in 53 days. 'Mission Isntanbul' is a very expensive film. My producer Suniel Shetty has already spent plenty in pre-production. We've already been to Turkey several times. It's one of the most amazing shooting spots. I'm looking forward to it," he said.

After "Mission Istanbul", Lakhia will direct a film for Ekta Kapoor.

"We're exploring a number of films. And it won't necessarily have Tusshar in it. Ekta never insists on anyone in the cast. In fact, I had to ask Ekta to intervene when Tusshar was reluctant to do 'Shootout At Lokhandwala'. I'm glad the film is a hit, though I can't say how big a hit. At least it got me noticed and I'm doing 'Mission Istanbul'," Lakhia said.

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