Nation Awakes, Pakistan’s first superhero film

Published: February 18, 2013

The film’s teaser will be released in a Comic-Con styled event which will take place in Karachi in June this year. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

The film’s teaser will be released in a Comic-Con styled event which will take place in Karachi in June this year. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
The film’s teaser will be released in a Comic-Con styled event which will take place in Karachi in June this year. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
The film’s teaser will be released in a Comic-Con styled event which will take place in Karachi in June this year. PHOTO: PUBLICITY
LAHORE: 

Pakistani films have been about love, romance, action, comedy and even terrorism and social issues embedded deep in our system, but never have we seen a film based on comics or sci-fi superheroes.

With a huge budget (Rs200 to Rs250 million) backing its production, Nation Awakes is about to break this trend and will serve to be the country’s first superhero feature film.

“The basic concept of the film is that it is not a normal superhero movie — we are trying to take a different route by exploring Pakistan’s current scenario,” says producer Aamir Sajjad, who is also playing the role of the superhero in the film. “A superhero in that context [of Pakistan] will be one who aims to preserve humanity on a global level.”

“We have constructed the story so that it focuses on the life of a superhero from the time he is with his foster parents; we won’t go into the details of where he comes from or his background,” says Sajjad, who owns an expansive collection of comic book collectibles — over a hundred items from films such as Iron Man and several others.

Sajjad further reveals the role of the superhero has been moulded to fit his own self and although he has minimal experience in the realms of acting, he says the film is a serious venture. “Since the comic culture is so limited here in Pakistan, we figured it would be more logical to make a film first as compared to a graphic novel,” he says, adding that they are ensuring the best technology is used to make the film worthy of international viewing.

With Nation Awakes, Sajjad is hoping a broader culture of comics could be introduced to the Pakistani audiences. With the launch of this film in June in a Comic-Con styled event in Karachi, Sajjad reveals the officially registered event will showcase comic-related items as well as the movie itself.

“The whole idea is that we want to develop an adequate pop culture in Pakistan that respects comics,” he continues. “And in the future, we want to promote graphic artists so that eventually we have a thriving comic-culture.” Sajjad also owns a company on the sides which promotes comic-related collectibles and products. With the release of this film, he plans on collaborating with leading comic institutions such as Marvel in the future.

Nation Awakes, a bilingual film (larger portion of the script in English and smaller portion in Urdu) will be filmed in 12 different countries and the characters have been developed according to the latest graphic technologies in the US and other countries. Renowned composer Sahir Ali Bagga will be doing the film’s music.

The film is still in its initial stages and 80% of its scripting is complete, reveals the film’s director, Umair Nasir Ali. “Aamir has been fascinated with the concept of making a superhero film with Pakistan’s scenario in mind,” says Ali. “While Hollywood has Spiderman and Batman and India has Ra.One and Krish, he thought the work should begin on something that represents Pakistan.”

The film’s casting is scheduled to begin in April which will then be followed by a small teaser release in June.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2013.            

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Reader Comments (37)

  • Mj
    Feb 18, 2013 - 8:02PM

    Best of luck to the production team. Can’t wait to see it in a cinema.Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 18, 2013 - 8:57PM

    Pakistan’s First Super Hero Movie is ‘Kaptaan’ which is not yet released :)

    Recommend

  • Feb 18, 2013 - 9:02PM

    That’s really impressive. Will definitely look forward to it.

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  • whats in the name
    Feb 18, 2013 - 9:21PM

    All the best…

    Recommend

  • What D Fiqh
    Feb 18, 2013 - 9:46PM

    Does he take 5 namaz breaks?

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  • Feb 18, 2013 - 10:14PM

    One question: What’s the name of hero? Seems pretty idotic if the hero doesnt have a name.

    Recommend

  • Johnhugger
    Feb 18, 2013 - 10:49PM

    Sweet!

    Recommend

  • Faraz
    Feb 18, 2013 - 10:57PM

    All the best,Pakistan need entertainment in the form of good Dramas,films and sports.

    Recommend

  • DevilHunterX
    Feb 18, 2013 - 11:09PM

    Captain America costume rip-off

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  • Feb 18, 2013 - 11:21PM

    Superheros are not permitted in Islam. As this is counted within black magic

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  • Asif Butt
    Feb 18, 2013 - 11:26PM

    And there will be a special cameo of SULTAN RAHI in this movie I suppose .

    Recommend

  • RA
    Feb 18, 2013 - 11:58PM

    All these independent movies have never been released… (waar, Kolachi, seedlings,
    blah blah)

    Recommend

  • bla
    Feb 19, 2013 - 2:22AM

    @tightpatloon
    that was funny hahahhaa ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,no wait, r u serious???? :|

    Recommend

  • bla
    Feb 19, 2013 - 2:25AM

    i just hope that this movie is not a rip-off of captain america or thor etc …but maybe it is a good thing, we will move one step from copying bollywood to hollywood..so, thumbs up even if it is a hollywood rip-off :)

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  • Asif Butt
    Feb 19, 2013 - 2:30AM

    @TightPatloon:

    No Sir , there is no such clause or religious fact.

    “Super Hero” could be many more things outside that box of black magic that you mention.

    And please dont just jump to the conclusion of replying to me with the first impact that hits your brain , please present a well founded logic based on established facts if you wish to have a reasonable dialogue .

    Thank you.

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  • Mast Malang
    Feb 19, 2013 - 2:51AM

    I will believe the 250 million thing and all their claims when I see some progress on it. Not at least till they release the trailer. And some producer named Amir Sajjad who I couldn’t find on google even is going to play the superhero. Looks like some wannabes trying to catch some eye balls.

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  • A.M.Khan
    Feb 19, 2013 - 3:03AM

    We can We will.

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  • kaalchakra
    Feb 19, 2013 - 3:17AM

    I hope it is Osama bin Laden. He is the real superhero for Pakistan

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  • S
    Feb 19, 2013 - 3:40AM

    Brilliant stuff” would have been way better if was in Urdu, a hero a common Pakistani can relate to..

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Feb 19, 2013 - 3:59AM

    Is that a chaand-taara on the shoulder ?

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  • Farhan
    Feb 19, 2013 - 5:42AM

    Let see if he can fight Taliban in real… Everything is possible in animation … lol

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  • Asad
    Feb 19, 2013 - 7:18AM

    I don’t believe this movie is ever going to be release just like WAAR. And if it did, i doubt acting of a novice

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  • Pakistani
    Feb 19, 2013 - 8:21AM

    @TightPatloon Watching tv, hanging out with girls, taking pictures are also not permitted in Islam yet we do it without hesitation. Please keep your backward thinking away from this forum. This is only entertainment and plus purely fiction. Everyone knows superheroes are not for real. These movies are made only for pure entertainment and nothing else so let’s just keep it that way and not bring religion into everything.
    Thank you

    Recommend

  • salman
    Feb 19, 2013 - 9:08AM

    Didn’t we had Sultan Rahi movies for the same ?

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  • bilal
    Feb 19, 2013 - 9:28AM

    wow best of luck

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  • Huma
    Feb 19, 2013 - 9:43AM

    Looking forward. :)

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  • Feb 19, 2013 - 9:44AM

    Best of luck though and highly anticipated, but First Super Hero movie? beg you pardon, but what about ‘Shaani’.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaani

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  • Raza Khan
    Feb 19, 2013 - 10:53AM

    Wishing you all the best! Since I am very aprehensive about the success of this project.

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  • tanvir
    Feb 19, 2013 - 10:55AM

    throwing good money after bad! how can they expect to recover Rs. 250 million from this movie?

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  • Concerned
    Feb 19, 2013 - 11:18AM

    @Ali:

    Ali I am quite skeptical if it will ever be released.

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  • DevilHunterX
    Feb 19, 2013 - 12:57PM

    Sultan Rahi was the first superhero of Pakistan. Never Forget!

    Recommend

  • Final Solution
    Feb 19, 2013 - 1:19PM

    I have a better costume design for a local superhero than this Captain America knockoff.
    Why don’t these developers create something unique? Having collectibles to show off is different from having an imagination.

    Recommend

  • C
    Feb 19, 2013 - 11:17PM

    Hopefully it isn’t an effeminate musical like most Bollywood movies.Recommend

  • bilal
    Feb 20, 2013 - 9:56AM

    @Final Solution:
    why dont you create something new

    Recommend

  • Hammad
    Feb 24, 2013 - 11:20PM

    “All these independent movies have never been released… (waar, Kolachi, seedlings,
    blah blah)”

    Seedlings has been released internationally. Well they did play it at a festival and from what I hear it did well. So they’ll probably do a wider release this year. Kolachi is on hold because I guess they need a bigger budget for the vfx…but I think after the success of Seedlings they’ll be able to get more money. As for Waar it’s currently in post-production (vfx and all..not editing or sound) phase. So it’ll probably take a few more months.

    And yes technically speaking there have been pakistani superhero movies i.e Shaani.

    Recommend

  • Final Solution
    Mar 6, 2013 - 11:47PM

    @bilal
    I’ve got tons of superhero concept designs in my bundle of A4 sized papers.
    Went to IVS and Karachi Art Council for exhibition but they said they don’t promote such ‘comic’ art.

    Recommend

  • irfan
    Mar 11, 2013 - 9:05PM

    I would love to see “Umro Ayar” as well.

    Recommend

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