Fawad Khan cast as Maula Jatt, Hamza Ali Abbasi as Noori Nath

Published: January 8, 2016
Director Bilal Lashari on why the duo will be an amazing combination for the reboot of the iconic Gandasa film

Director Bilal Lashari on why the duo will be an amazing combination for the reboot of the iconic Gandasa film

KARACHI: When the ‘remake’ of Maula Jatt was announced, it seemed Bilal Lashari was aiming to stylise the Gandasa film genre. But now that he has announced to cast Fawad Khan as Maula Jatt and Hamza Ali Abbasi as Noori Nath, it’s clear he is aiming for a lot more; he is aiming to redefine the quintessential Punjabi hero.

“Our Punjabi hero has always roamed around Chaati phula kay, aasstenain charha kay (with his chest puffed, sleeves folded) and that has become our style.  And I felt that we were trying too hard to make a hero,” says Bilal in a conversation with The Express Tribune.

Bilal Lashari’s next project: A multi-million dollar remake of Maula Jatt

“It has to be a lot more than just physical exaggeration and that is why Fawad as Maula Jatt and Hamza as Noori Nath will come as an amazing shocker for the audience.”

Bilal has known Fawad since school days and knows a very rebellious and aggressive side to the so-called romantic hero.  That was perhaps why he had Fawad in mind for Maula Jatt even before Waar was released.

“People may have gotten a glimpse of his other side in eP (Enitity Paradigm) or a small cameo he made for Mekaal Hassan Band video that I directed. But I always knew kay yeh tau bara wehsi aadmi hai (he’s wild) and I am surprised that no one has ever explored him that way.”

For Bilal, Fawad’s Khoobsurat image will not prove to be a hindrance in way of Maula Jatt. He is quite optimistic that nothing bad can come out of Fawad’s ever-growing fame and image. However, the cult followers of the franchise may like to differ and draw parallels between Sultan Rahi and Fawad Khan.

“It’s a gamble but it’s not a remake,” says Bilal, adding that his project has evolved so much that it’s a completely different story now; a hard reboot, which has nothing like the Sultan Rahi character. “It’s a new interpretation of the gandasa genre, which is why it was very important to reinvent characters. There’s no point in imitating Sultan Rahi. There has to be a completely new identity.”

Lashari’s Maula Jatt to release in 2017

But Maula Jatt can never be complete without his arch-rival, Noori Nath, the one character from Lollywood everyone loves to hate.

“Noori is a really important character. In fact, in the original film, Mustafa Qureshi sb, who played Noori, struck a stronger connection with the audience and it was also the first time people fell  in love with a villain,” notes Bilal and it was this evil charm in Noori that made him  get his friend and actor Hamza Ali Abbasi on board.

“It’s a very dialogue-driven character and Noori owns every scene, which is why I roped in Hamza for this seminal role. He has a great advantage because of his brilliant voice acting and dialogue delivery; plus, he has grown up in Multan and is fluent in Punjabi.”

Dealing with someone like Hamza can be a tricky affair especially with his own character being so dominating, opinionated and all over … facebook.

“I think he will make an even better villain on screen than he is on facebook,” Bilal says as he breaks into a hearty laugh. “I think he will bring that (his facebook persona) to the table itself but the character and dialogues themselves are so powerful that I think he is going to nail it. People will forget the old Noori Nath,” the director says confidently.

Rightful battle?: Bilal Lashari’s Maula Jatt ready to roll

Be it Achilles and Hector or Joker and Batman, the most important aspect of the any iconic villain-duo is the manner in which they complement each other  and that holds true for Maula Jatt and Noori Nath as well .

“I think the characters complement each other. It’s the ying-yang energy and in an alternate universe they could have been the best of friends; so I think it’s an amazing combination.  As far as the actors are concerned, Hamza and Fawad are our young stars and I think people would love to see them share the frame.”

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Stranger
    Jan 8, 2016 - 5:06PM

    FK ( like most Pak actors ) is better off in Pak than in India. Why do Pak actors go fishing there for roles ?Recommend

  • Another Fan
    Jan 8, 2016 - 5:08PM

    Mahira Khan as billo rani?Recommend

  • Jan 8, 2016 - 5:16PM

    Is this going to be a comedy? Recommend

  • Antiq
    Jan 8, 2016 - 5:24PM

    WOW! I reckon this is going to be a top film. With Lashari’s directorial skills and Fawad’s persona i hope this one breaks all records. Recommend

  • Hasan
    Jan 8, 2016 - 5:35PM

    Hamza Abbasi is a sound choice as he is fluent in Punjabi language and bred in Multan. On the other hand Fawad Khan is not a good choice at all. The reason is that these two characters are the iconic characters of Punjab and those people who do not associate with the local culture of Punjab cannot do any justice to this character. Fawad Khan even tough is born and bred in Lahore but he always disassociated himself with locals. His recent Interviews in India are evident in front of everybody. Kindly choose someone else other than Fawad Khan. Why An Iconic character of Punjab is being given to a person who really do not know what is meant by a Village life, have no association with locals and who do not know that what is a past history of this character?.Recommend

  • Jan 8, 2016 - 5:39PM

    Bilal is a visionary director, he just might pull it off.Recommend

  • sana
    Jan 8, 2016 - 6:49PM

    I am wondering how Hamza Ali and Fawad Khan look while speaking punjabi.lol..Recommend

  • Breaking Bad
    Jan 8, 2016 - 7:11PM

    If the director claims this to be different from the original classic then he should not call it remake and also find a different name for it. I hear he is very creative and visionary. I am sure most people reading my comments have never seen the original classic. Being from Punjab I can tell you Fawad is not a good fit to play the role.Recommend

    Jan 8, 2016 - 7:56PM

    The bar has been set high given the original Maula Jatt is such a classic. It will be interesting to see how the new Maula Jatt comes out.Recommend

  • afia
    Jan 8, 2016 - 8:16PM

    Great choice Bilal Lashari!
    Fawad did a great job in Akbari Asghari and can do the same here. HAA will hopefully deliver as well.

  • Rashid
    Jan 8, 2016 - 8:49PM

    Sultan Rahi, the legendary figure of Punjabi cinema who played the role of Maula Jutt was from Uttar Pradesh, India
    Mustafa Qureshi, another legend of Punjabi cinema, who played the role of Noori Natt is from Sindhi and his mother tongue is Sindhi.

    Despite not from Punjab, both ruled the Punjabi cinema for decades.Recommend

  • Another Fan
    Jan 8, 2016 - 10:29PM

    @Rashid: Thank you for bringing this important piece of information to light.Recommend

  • luke Skywalker
    Jan 9, 2016 - 1:31AM

    @hassan actually fawad has played a Punjabi village boy in him TV serial Akbar asghari and he pulled it off fine..Recommend

  • Hasan
    Jan 9, 2016 - 2:20AM

    @Rashid For your information Sultan Rahi was born to Punjabi parents. Kindly do more research before stating such things. Also Mr Qureshi was born to Parents whose language was Punjabi. According to your logic since I am born to Punjabi parents but since i was born in Peshwar. So that makes me a Pukhtoon?. Both of the actors you mentioned have Punjabi origins but just like me they were born in different parts but to Punjabi parents.Recommend

  • Malik Saab
    Jan 9, 2016 - 3:11AM

    @Rashid: I have seen the interview of Sultan Rahi in the past. He was stating that his parents were Punjabi. So he may be born in Uttar Predesh but ethnically he was Punjabi. Your place of birth do not automatically determines your ethnicity. UP, Jammu, Delhi etc has a huge Punjabi population for the information of many people.Recommend

  • Rashid
    Jan 9, 2016 - 11:14AM

    @Hasan, well I agree on the Sultan Rahi part that his parents were Punjabi but living outside Punjab. There are thousands of Punjabis living in Karachi and Sindh and their accents of Urdu are totally different from the Urdu accent of Lahore. Even the younger generation born and raised in Karachi cannot speak and understand Punjabi fully. As per my humble experience the place where you live and raised does impact your language and accent.

    Coming to Mr. Qureshi, well he himself in many interviews have stated that before Maula Jatt he cannot even speak Punjabi being from Hyderabad Sindh. To work in Maula Jatt he learned Punjabi with the right rural accent. Recommend

  • Malik Saab
    Jan 9, 2016 - 11:35AM

    @sana: Most of the people do not know that Fawad Khan was a part of team that produced the Drama “Jutt and Bond”. It was before he got famous. Their team used to do stage shows as well. So infact they he is accustomed to such idea. Just search for “Jutt and Bond”.and you will find this drama pretty funny. Recommend

  • Batlish
    Jan 9, 2016 - 3:54PM

    My parents are both Punjabi and I was born in Punjab too but my family resided in Karachi all our live. Because of that I can’t speak punjabi fluently and my accent is too bad even if I imitate, cos I only spoke Urdu and like all karachi kids we all learn perfect urdu but cant speak regional languages. But Fawad should be able to speak it man.. He lived in Lahore all his life, even their urdu sounds like punjabi, then why he cant speak it? Bilal spoke punjabi with great accent in one of hamza’s pti documentaries, as far as i know he is rich and went to good school but he learned it too. Recommend

  • Khalid Abbasi
    Jan 9, 2016 - 4:38PM

    Fawad Khan as Mallard Jutt will be disaster. Recommend

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