Ashim is all set to do a movie version of the super-hero character Bahadur created by Abid Surati for Indrajal comics.
Unlike super-hero films like Ra.One and Krrish, Bahadur won't emulate Hollywood's super-hero formula but forge its own identity.
Says Ashim, "Yes, I've been approached to make a Hindi superhero film, but very different – an Indrajal comic book character – which is interesting and I can relate to."
Bathed in the shower of encomiums for Miss Lovely nationally and globally, the avant-garde director says, "When Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas was screened at the Midnight Section of Cannes many years ago, a section of the international press mistook it for a parody. I don't think with the newer Hindi films coming out now, we are in the same situation. A film like Miss Lovely will now release in France, Japan and in the US in April. That's a huge shift – and it will be amazing that they will get to see "our" India and not just the Slumdog Millionaire version."
Ashim got away with graphic scenes of love-making and even bare breasts in Miss Lovely. Errrr, how come? "I wasn't making a C grade film, but I definitely needed to have the film make you feel like you were within that universe – humid and sleazy. It needed to sometimes have very cheap-looking Ramsay lighting, and yet, other times it needed to be realistic and poetic, a very atmospheric film. I think these combinations make it both "sasta" and "high art" simultaneously. I spent over a year and met everybody in the C grade industry including all the stalwarts like Joginder, who were surprisingly open and welcoming."
Incidentally every prominent actress from Mallika Sherawat to Mugda Godse turned down the film.
Laughs Ashim, "Most of them were outraged or scandalized because they thought it was an actual C grade film. They couldn't understand the idea the film could be "set" in the C grade industry without actually being a sleaze film itself. One actress even threatened to lodge an FIR against us."