Isn’t it amazing that the newly revived Pakistani cinema continues to offer movies to all kinds of audiences?
From Na Maloom Afraad to JPNA, and Moor to Mah e Mir, our films have not only proven how talented our filmmakers are, but also shown they’re not restricted in terms of content.
And adding more power to the industry is a movie titled Project Ghazi, the makers of which are calling it Pakistan’s first ever superhero film.
“It’s a story of an advanced soldier project and it spans over a period of 20 years,” director Nadir Shah told The Express Tribune during a live Facebook session.
Nadir is an ad-film maker and Project Ghazi is his first feature film. “We wanted to shake things a little so there are elements of espionage and spy genres in the movie as well,” he added.
The film — 40% of which has already been shot — will feature Humayun Saeed, Sheheryar Munawar and Saira Shahroz in lead roles. “Humayun and Sheheryar’s characters are equally balanced and compliment each other and they’re both playing superheroes,” producer Ali Raza said.
What about Saira? Will she appear as a superhero as well? “Absolutely yes. In her own way,” Ali responded, adding that Adnan Jaffar is playing the antagonist while veteran actor Talat Hussain is also playing an important role.
Ali revealed that Humayun’s character is named Salar while Sheheryar’s, Saira’s and Adnan’s characters will be called Zain, Zara and Qataan respectively. “You’ve never seen Saira like this before. Sheheryar has worked really hard and he has come out looking really good; like a young, modern super soldier.”
When asked what kind of audience they’re aspiring to target, Ali said, “We strongly believe in Pakistan and the revived cinema of Pakistan. The superhero genre is owned by Hollywood. They’re the ones who started this and they’re the ones we would like to land closest to, if not be exactly like them.”
Ali added that since the Pakistani audience is evolving, they want Project Ghazi to appeal to not just the Ra. One or Krish fans but also those who love watching Batman and X-Men. “We want to do justice to the first Pakistani attempt. And I am sure Nadir will agree that while making this film, we faced many challenges because there’s no history of superhero movies in Pakistan. Hollywood films belonging to this genre have a track record of 80 years.”
One of the biggest challenges they faced was getting the costumes right. “We really had a great team. No one’s really done costume work like this in Pakistan before and we had to do everything from scratch. So it was difficult to design costumes in which actors could do stunts while being able to breathe normally,” Ali said.
“First, we made designs. Then we made concept art and later found the right vendors. Then we had a team which tried out several versions before we actually got to a functional piece which not only looked good but was wearable as well,” Nadir added.
That wasn’t it, though. Nadir and Ali disclosed that the actors had to undergo 3D scanning for the masks they’d be seen wearing in the movie which were created by a 3D printer, adding that the special effects used are of the highest standards.
“One thing that motivated us was that when we were travelling across Pakistan, we’d see superhero merchandise from all over the world but nothing from Pakistan. So it’s time. And I hope we can complete this project and present it to the audience in a grounded way,” Nadir said.
“We will come up with a product which will make every Pakistani proud,” Ali added.
The movie is expected to be released next year. Here’s a BTS video:
And here’s the makers’ live Facebook session with us: