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Don (franchise)

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Creator  Javed Akhtar Salim Khan Chandra Barot Farhan Akhtar

Don is an Indian media franchise centered on Don, a fictional mafia. It started in 2006 with the release Don, a remake of the 1978 film of the same name. Its sequel was released in 2011, entitled Don 2. It has been expanded to Comics and Video games,

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Shahrukh Khan stars in the titular role. Other actors who have starred in both films include Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, and Om Puri. Don is now the fifth highest-grossing Indian film series.

Don

Eighty percent of the film was shot in Malaysia, and was filmed around the tropical Langkawi island as well as the Petronas Twin Towers and the Jalan Masjid India area, which is the "little India" of Kuala Lumpur. Shahrukh Khan was the first choice for the film and hence he was first approached and the first actor to be signed as the lead. Akshay Kumar was offered the role of Jasjit but he rejected it saying he might have accepted if he had been offered the part of Don. Shahrukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra underwent special martial arts training for their roles in the movie and both performed their own stunts.

Don 2

The idea for a sequel to Don had been conceptualised ever since the first film released, and it was officially announced by Farhan Akhtar shortly after the release. However, he was involved with other commitments while Shahrukh Khan needed to recover from a shoulder surgery, so he gave his dates to My Name Is Khan as it required very little physical exertion. In February 2010, Akhtar revealed that the script and locations had been finalised. The film was announced with the original cast reprising their roles, with the exception of Arjun Rampal and Ishaa Koppikar. Lara Dutta and Kunal Kapoor were cast as new characters in the film. In an interview with DNA India, Akhtar revealed that he decided to make the sequel to his 2006 remake of the 70s classic as it "had a lot to offer" and because it gave him a lot of freedom to explore the character of Don, which he was very fascinated with.

It marks Akhtar's return to direction after a gap of nearly five years, the last film he directed being Don. Anand Subaya was chosen as the main editor, while Ritesh Soni was roped in to manage the production of music. The digital intermediate and VFX of Don 2 were done by Pixion Studios while the 3D conversion was carried out at Reliance Mediaworks.

Don 2 had a different team of writers from the first film; it included Akhtar, Ameet Mehta and Amrish Shah. Akhtar stated that "The first film was my father's vision, but Don 2 is being written by fans only. These are yours truly and two new enthusiastic boys, Ameet and Amreesh, who came to me with their ideas on how the story can be carried forward. I've thrown my ideas at them. Don 2 is basically being written by three Don fans who are having a ball carrying the story forward." Khan became the first celebrity to register a tattoo in his name, when the 'D' tattoo ported on his arm in the film was registered for copyright protection.

In August 2011, the filmmakers that they would release it in 3D. The idea of the 3D conversion occurred to Akhtar while shooting and, after conducting conversion tests in Los Angeles, the producers decided to convert the entire film. The director of photography had shot it with special lenses which made it easier to give it a third dimension. Sidhwani revealed that he had the idea of converting the film into 3D after seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Chuck Comisky, a veteran S-3D innovator who supervised the 3D stereo and visual effects of Avatar and Sanctum, was roped in.

Don 3

On a potential sequel, Shahrukh Khan has commented, "It would be great to revisit Don after sometime. I’ve told Farhan that we could take 60 days out of our schedule and make a Don 3. But we need a script first, one that could take the last 10 minutes of Don 2 forward to another differently exciting thriller." Farhan Akhtar also expressed the desire to take the story forward, and said that he was fascinated by the character of Don. However the filmmaker also insisted that he wanted to explore other genres and that he didn't want to get restricted. He added that he is currently focusing on his acting career. In August 2014, It is reported that Farhan Akhtar is planned to play a role in the film.

Don

Main Article: Don (character)

The titular lead of the series. He is a powerful crime boss who, in spite of being one of the most wanted on the list of Interpol, remains elusive to the police. Though not evil, he is still hated because of his activities. Along with the police, Don makes a few other enemies through his merciless approach to running his organization, especially when he kills one of his own men, Ramesh, when Ramesh decides to leave the business. This introduces Don to two new enemies, Kamini, Ramesh's fiancée, and Roma, Ramesh's sister. Meanwhile, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts at nabbing Don, the police finally succeed, but Don dies during the pursuit, botching Officer D'Silva's plan to reach the source of all crime—the man Don reported to—through capturing Don alive. D'Silva buries Don's body, ensuring that people believe that he may still be alive.

But in the new series of Don it is revealed that it was right for the police to be nabbing Vijay constantly because he was, in fact, Don. It is completely revealed that Don was actually alive all along and had killed Vijay to take his place for a little while and later manages to escape. He only has a soft side towards Roma. In the deleted scenes of Don, Anita is seen telling Narang that Don has fallen for Roma.

Vijay

As luck would have it, D’Silva remembers his chance encounter with Vijay, a simpleton trying to survive in the hustle and bustle of Bombay in order to support two small foster children, who is an exact lookalike of Don. D’Silva hatches a plan to transform Vijay into Don and place him back into the crime nexus, but this time as a police informer.

Roma

A simple girl from town, she literally hates Don because he killed her brother Ramesh and her sister-in-law Kamini. Roma, in order to get revenge, trains up herself and joins Don's gang (with a secret desire to kill him). Unaware that the real Don is dead, she fights Vijay who is then masquerading as Don. But when she gets to know the truth, she befriends him. However, in Don: The Chase Begins Again, she comes to know that Don is still alive and continues to hate him. Her pursuit for Don continues in its sequel where she joins the Interpol. In Don: The Chase Begins Again, she falls for Vijay but by the end of the movie realizes he is Don. In sequel, she wants to seek revenge for his betrayal but when Vardhann and Jabbar ask her to shoot Don or get shot herself, she chooses the latter indicating that she still has a soft corner for him.

D'Silva

The local DSP who was assigned the duty of capturing Don. He does succeed in capturing Don, but the latter accidentally dies in the process. However, only D'Silva knows of Don's death. So he secretly hires a look-alike of Don, named Vijay and advices him to disguise as the Don and give the police info all about Don's gang (D'Silva is the only one who knows that Vijay is Don). Vijay succeeds, but D'Silva is killed and that leaves Vijay on his own to prove his innocence. D'Silva reveals himself to be Vardhann in the new series of Don.

Anita

An ally of Don, she however doesn't have much to do with the story. She, like the rest of Don's gang, is unaware that Vijay is acting as their leader who is dead. But she does overhear Vijay's phone conversation with D'Silva, thus she finds out the truth. Vijay however quickly manages to trap her, thus saving himself (None of this happens in Don: The Chase Begins Again). In Don 2, a similar character named Ayesha replaces Anita.

Vardhan

The real underworld criminal higher than Don, they are not friends however. Vardhan hides himself as a local DCP Inspector D'Silva, and his identity is not known to anyone except his gang members who pretend to be against him. Eventually Singhania finds out that D'Silva is actually Vardhan, but is killed before the news can reach anyone. Vardhan, who knows that Vijay is not Don, reveals himself to Vijay, who eventually manages to defeat Vardhan and get him arrested. In Don: The Chase Begins Again, it is D'Silva who eventually is revealed to be Vardhan, with Malik becoming an ally of Don.

Malik

The Interpol officer and assistant of DSP D'Silva. He however betrays D'Silva by killing him, but not before revealing himself as Vardhan. He however is not Vardhan in Don: The Chase Begins Again, where he becomes an ally of Vijay. He returns in Don 2, where he gives Roma the duty of capturing Don.

Singhania

Even though he never appears in any of the films, he is mentioned as Don's boss and is in fact the real underworld criminal, only second to Vardhan. He briefly appears in Don: The Chase Begins Again and Don 2, in the former he is killed by Vardhan (disguised as D'Silva) without anyone's notice.

Reception

Mumbai Mirror's Mayank Shekhar gave the remake a rating of 3 out of 5. He did criticise the treatment of certain scenes in comparison to the original, though.

Don: The Origin

In October 2011 a comic book based on Don 2, Don: The Origin, was published in Mumbai. A prequel, it details Don's past. About the comic, Ritesh Sidhwani said: "Don 2 takes off from where Don: The Chase Begins Again left off. In these five years, many have forgotten the film and must be curious to know how Don came into being. This original story will help them understand him and also offer a background on other characters like Roma and Vardhaan."

Don – The Social Mobsters Game

Excel Entertainment collaborated with India's largest video-game company, Gameshastra, on a console game. The firm developed a third-person action-adventure console game in which the player performs actions similar to Don's in the film. A social game, Don – The Social Mobsters Game (developed by Mango Games), was launched on Facebook. It is available on Android and PSN for PlayStation 3 platforms. Sidhwani said, "This is the first time a game is based on an Indian film that will be launched on four platforms. For an iconic character like Don, I think this was the best way to keep the hysteria going amongst his fans."

Don 2: The King is Back

A PlayStation 2 game, Don 2: The King is Back, was released in India in February 2013 as the final PAL game for PS2.

References

Don (franchise) Wikipedia


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