Pakistan’s first superhero film Project Ghazi has been in the news ever since the project was announced last year. Still in its production phase, the film stars Humayun Saeed, Shehryar Munawar and Syra Shahroz in lead roles.
Ali Raza, the producer of the film shared that 75% of the film’s production has been completed and they hope to wrap it up soon. Regarding the release date, he said, “It is better that I don’t reveal it now because things can take an unexpected turn in our industry. But rest assured Project Ghazi will release in 2017.”
Furthermore, the producer hoped the film would break box office records. When asked whether he thought Project Ghazi, like Waar, would take Pakistani cinema forward and explore new genres, he said, “I really hope so. I think we need to experiment with this genre more because it has a lot of potential.”
While Pakistani cinema has recently delved into superhero genre with Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s successful animated feature 3 Bahadur, Project Ghazi would be the first live action superhero film. Raza said it was not a typical Hollywood style superhero film either. “It’s not Batman or Superman because we had to create characters that would be relevant to our society. The superheroes need to be as realistic as the world they are placed in.”
Pakistani films may have improved on the technical aspects but we still have a long way to go in creating strong narratives and memorable characters. According to Raza, a good superhero has a great character arc. “It has to be a strong battle between good and evil. A lot of films just have one superhero, but we have two.” One of them is an ‘advanced soldier’ played by Saeed and the other one is a rookie soldier played by Munawar,
While superhero films have a huge market, they are often considered mindless entertainment, which they possibly can turn out to be. However, Project Ghazi, like all potentially good films, aims to camouflage a strong point in disguise of entertainment. “Thematically, the film is about intolerance in our society. We see injustice against minorities here, so essentially, it talks about that.”
Besides the narrative and theme, the producers have left no stone unturned to match international standards of film-making. “We have used 3D printed costumes for the characters so the production quality is top notch. We have created different institutions in the film where the story is set, all from the scratch, to not compromise on the authenticity.”
Earlier reports indicated that fitness guru Nusrat Hidayatullah of 42 Day Challenge fame was set to play the villain in Project Ghazi. Soon after, rumours arose about actor Tatmain ul Qulb replacing her. However, Hidayatullah has now clarified that she was still essaying the role of an antagonist. “Yes, I’m still part of the project; not sure why anyone would believe otherwise,” she told The Express Tribune.
Raza also set the record straight, saying he didn’t know where the rumours started. “She is part of Project Ghazi and so is Tatmain.”
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