Humayun, Sheheryar and Saira team up for Pakistan's 'first ever superhero film'

Published: July 14, 2016
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PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

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.

PHOTO: PUBLICITY

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.”

PHOTO: PUBLICITY

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.”

PHOTO: PUBLICITY

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.

PHOTO: PUBLICITY

“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:

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (6)

  • Cinephile
    Jul 14, 2016 - 5:29PM

    THIS is what we need to see more of. Shehryar is High Jackman v2.0. All the best to the team, hope it lives up to its billing!Recommend

  • Kashif
    Jul 14, 2016 - 5:51PM

    First of all, this looks like a promising endeavour in the making of Pakistani film industry and I hope we make it big.I have a question to ask which may be inappropriate but still the same,Can somebody please explain to me why can’t I find many Pakistani movies released sometime before on torrent?I mean Bollywood movies appear after a gap of a week or so but why not Pakistani?Is it because that our film industry is rejuvenating and piracy threatens its existence because I don’t agree with that because I think piracy and torrents are a medium to reach a bigger mass of people and generating a greater audience.I strongly urge the film industry to take this into account that not all of us could afford to go to a cinema so we have to rely on pirated stuff.I am not saying that they should start pirating too I am just saying that they should find another way to reach the lower middle class.Recommend

  • Cinephile
    Jul 14, 2016 - 8:48PM

    @Kashif: First of all. appreciate the fact that the film you conveniently download actually costs some money to make — actually a whole lot of money, in the region of crores. This is typically incurred by one or more individual(s) — the producers, who don’t make the film as a charitable contribution to further audience interest. It is an investment, which is why the film making machinery in any country is called an ‘industry’.

    Second, the investment needs to be recovered in order for these people to continue producing films, no one invests to eventually end up living on the street.

    The piece of art that you conveniently download costs several crores at the very bare minimum to produce. It is expected that audience will watch it legally to continue to provide incentives to creative people to produce more of such work. This is especially crucial for an infant industry like the one in Pakistan. Leak of pirated print can effectively put the film in the red for the producer and that means you, the end consumer, will be deprived of such work in the future. Therefore, it is CRUCIAL that the audience turns up to watch these films, trust me, these guys are doing a tremendous job and need all your moral and financial support, which you effectively do by purchasing tickets at the theater.Recommend

  • Cinema_Goer
    Jul 15, 2016 - 2:11AM

    @Kashif: WTH did I just read? Are you serious?Recommend

  • Jul 15, 2016 - 2:33PM

    @Kashif:
    You sound like a bank robber who’s complaining there’s too much security at the banks!Recommend

  • Kashif
    Jul 15, 2016 - 6:39PM

    Maybe I am indecisive when it comes to piracy but isn’t everyone?OUR attitudes are hypocritical when it comes to promotion of Pakistani film industry and then illegal attainment of pirated stuff.I think torrent is a great medium to reach the masses.The point of my early post was to suggest the development of similar peer to peer network through which we can legally attain our desired entertainment otherwise it is great as it is.
    P.S. I am no IT Guy so don’t ask me to build one.Recommend

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