Director Jayaraj: Johnnie Walker sequel needs a big star
The filmmaker talks about his plans to develop a supporting character from the original film for a sequel
Director Jayaraj has revealed that he is planning a sequel to the hit Mammootty film Johnnie Walker (1992). However, Jayaraj has not yet fixed a start date as he is still looking for a lead actor. There were reports that Dulquer Salmaan was attached to the project but the filmmaker tells us that the actor is not involved.
“I’m on the lookout for the right actor. I can’t go ahead with it without finding him. It needs a big star,” says Jayaraj, who revealed that the sequel will continue with the character Kuttappayi, who played an aide of Mammootty’s character in the original. “I’m developing that character as a sort of Johnnie Walker Jr, and I hope to make an entertaining film. Since the first film has a good name, I have to be very careful. It has to live up to its name.”
Johnnie Walker now enjoys an iconic status. A song from the film, Shantamee Rathriyil, is still celebrated by music lovers. Jayaraj feels that he still regrets giving the film a tragic ending. “The idea of a sequel came out of a need to correct certain things. Mammootty’s character was not initially supposed to die but we had to make some last-minute changes before the shoot to justify some other narrative choices like him joining a college and whatnot. I feel the film would’ve been a much bigger hit if it had a different ending. As the audiences had already accepted the other ideas in the film, I felt those justifications in the latter portions were unnecessary.”
Meanwhile, his new film Roudram, based on last year’s floods, is yet to open in major theatres. Jayaraj tells us the film may reach more screens this Friday.
The Deshadanam-director has also completed filming a small-budget love story called Backpackers, starring Kalidas Jayaram. It will be released on Valentine’s Day, 2020.