Zaid Khan will be seen in the pan-India movie 'Banaras', which is going to be released in theatres on November 4. Starring Sonal Monterio as the heroine, it is a multi-lingual release.
In this interview, Khan talks about the Jayathirtha directorial and what to expect from it. The mystery romantic fantasy also stars Sujay Shastry, Devaraj, Achyuth Kumar, Sapna Raj and Barakth Ali.
We have promoted the movie across India, including the Telugu towns like Tirupathi, Nellore, Hyderabad, and Vizag. We have been to many parts of North India as well. The greatest response we got in the North was in Lucknow. Down South, the response was most awesome in Vizag.
Before 'Banaras', I was offered a Telugu film. In Hindi, too, I received offers from a couple of big banners. I would say that I chased 'Banaras' by personally approaching its director. For years, I was on the lookout for a novel script.
I am a Kannadiga. After films like 'KGF' and 'Kantara', I have a responsibility to live up to the high expectations on a pan-India scale. I want to maintain the prestige of the Kannada film industry. Distributors feel that 'Banaras' is superb and that it will work on a pan-India level.
This is a largely colourful film, which has got a mystery element and the backdrop of Varanasi is apt. The audience are going to enjoy the backdrop as much as the content. Initially, the plan was to shoot only 20% of the film in that temple town. Later, we changed the plan and shot most part of the film there. We shot the film in Banaras for 55 working days.
You are going to find suspense, thrill, comedy, and action. There is a novel element that is going to blow away the audience's mind. Time-travel is an important element but it's not the only thing that you are going to find. It's a pakka love story.
There was a time when the South film industry was looked down upon. Our movies were not known for grandeur. With time, we have outdone others. I was born and brought up down South. I don't want to abandon my nativity by focusing on Bollywood.
The decision to go pan-India was taken after the second lockdown in 2021. The original plan was to make 'Banaras' as a Kannada-only film. Therefore, the project took much longer to be completed. Our film is going to introduce Varanasi to those who don't know anything about the holy town. At the same time, there is nothing religious about the subject. Language is not a barrier. This is a proper pan-India film with great potential.
My father (politician Zameer Ahmed Khan) talked about the movie and my performance, the other day, at the pre-release event in Karnataka for the first time. We are not able to hold an event in Hyderabad because of the tight schedule. We will plan a success meet post the theatrical release.
Although I come from a political family, I don't have any interest in a political film. In fact, I have rejected a couple of such subjects. There is no kick in doing such a subject when I already come from a political family.
I have got four projects in my hand. I will focus on them once 'Banaras' releases. Even if this film becomes a hit, I won't do pan-India films every time. Content has to demand it.