‘Shaitaan’ Director Vikas Bahl Spills The Beans On Much-Awaited Sequel Of Queen

New Delhi: Renowned filmmaker Vikas Bahl has been a name to reckon with in the Indian film industry, etching a mark with his distinctive storytelling abilities. Amid the buzz of his latest project, a gripping psycho thriller titled ‘Shaitaan’, featuring an impressive ensemble cast with the likes of Ajay Devgn and Madhavan, Bahl has code breaking news for fans of his previous cinematic ventures. The filmmaker has just completed crafting the narrative for the much-anticipated sequel to his 2013 blockbuster, ‘Queen’. “Finally, we have a story,” Bahl announces. “It’s not fully fleshed out into a screenplay yet, but the core story is ready.”

‘Queen’, an unconventional tale that resonated deeply with audiences, followed the transformational sojourn of Rani, a naïve young woman who, upon being jilted by her fiancé shortly before her wedding, embarks on a solo honeymoon. It’s an empowering voyage toward self-actualization that won hearts and critical acclaim alike. Speculation has been rife about whether lead actress Kangana Ranaut will return to breathe life into her character, Rani, once more. While nothing has been officially confirmed, Bahl has previously expressed his inability to envision the character portrayed by anyone else, and Ranaut has reciprocated her excitement for reprising her role.

This shared enthusiasm hints at a reconciled relationship between the actress and director, who experienced a spell of contention five years back. Bahl was embroiled in a #metoo controversy when he was accused of harassment. At the time, Ranaut backed the accuser, openly supporting her claims and sharing her own unsettling experiences on set with Bahl. However, the passage of time appears to have seen both individuals move past these conflicts and start anew.

Bahl is currently focusing on rebounding from his last cinematic outing ‘Ganpat’, which starred Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon but failed to leave an imprint at the box office. His confidence, however, remains unperturbed as he gears up for the release of ‘Shaitaan’.

In his discourse on the current landscape of film consumption, Bahl reflects on the divergent experiences offered by theatres and Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms. “Theatre is a celebration, OTT is a great library at home,” he remarks, acknowledging the difficulty in drawing clear distinctions between the two as sizable films increasingly find their way onto streaming services. Bahl, who ventured into digital storytelling with the OTT original series ‘Sunflower’, starring Sunil Grover, appreciates the storytelling latitude provided by these platforms, contrasting it with the constraints of cinematic timeframes.

Despite his foray into digital realms and the pragmatic acknowledgment of its advantages, Bahl confesses a nostalgic longing for the bygone era of grand cinema that colored the screens in the 80s and 90s. There’s a sense of wistfulness in his words as he ponders, “I wonder why it’s not happening … Are we not capable of it anymore? We seem to have got stuck in being real and driven by the number of stars a film will get, that we have stopped celebrating the small things.”

Nonetheless, the passion for cinema is potent and unmistakable as with each project, Vikas Bahl seeks to recapture the magic that once filled the theatres. Audiences are eager to ascertain if ‘Shaitaan’ will deliver on the promise of an enthralling big-screen experience when it releases on March 8th. As we anticipate the director’s next move, one thing remains crystal clear—a storyteller, irrespective of platform or genre, continues to chase the joy of crafting tales that resonate with the human spirit.

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