Sidharth

Sidharth Malhotra with directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK. (Sidharth Malhotra/Facebook photo)

MUMBAI — The second ‘installment’ of the “Bang Bang!” (2014) franchise took off May 7 in South Mumbai with an eight-day shooting schedule. After this, there will be schedules in both Miami and Malaysia. The film stars Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez.

But here’s the funny and confusing part: This film is said to be in the franchise yet not a sequel. Reports indicate that directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK will give it a new title, not with the words “Bang Bang!” in it! Then why term it a sequel? We have no idea, and producers Fox Star Studios are not enlightening us.

“Bang Bang!,” starring Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif, could not recover costs despite making Rs. 180 crore in India and more overseas. In other words, it was a flop, and that could be a reason to disown it in the name. But then why announce it as a sequel or a film in the same franchise when even the cast and directors are different?

In any case, the present film will also have Hollywood stuntmen and action directors (as with the earlier movie) as well as fly-boarding and hover-boarding sequences. As a romantic team, this is Malhotra’s first film with Fernandez, with whom he shared great rapport on the sets of the 2015 “Brothers,” in which she played Malhotra’s reel brother (Akshay Kumar)’s wife.

Incidentally, Malhotra and Kumar had a mutual admiration society going too, and it is said that Kumar has decided to mentor his younger ex-co-star this time as well after their earlier film in training for the action sequences. Malhotra will train at Kumar’s personal gym, and no photographs will be leaked, as per instructions given to the staff. For those who do not know, Kumar is a qualified martial arts instructor and has received the prestigious honor called “Shihan” — or teacher’s teacher.

The film will be shot abroad from June to December and is scheduled to release in 2017. Since it is not an action thriller strictly but an action comedy, at the muhurat shot of the film, the wacky directors (of “Go Goa Gone” fame) called the film “Not Bang Bang 2!”

Well, we do hope that after the misfired “Happy Ending,” Nidimoru and DK get it right this time. For we are once again looking at non-mainstream directors tossed into the challenging seas of mainstream bonanza entertainers!

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