Updated: August 14, 2021 8:45:44 am
21 years after the release of cult comedy Hera Pheri, producer Firoz A Nadiadwala has revealed that the film’s director Priyadarshan “abandoned the project midway.” Hailed as one of the best Hindi comedies of all time, Hera Pheri starred Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal in pivotal roles and kickstarted Priyadarshan’s comedy journey in Hindi cinema.
Nadiadwala revealed in an interview to Mid-day that he “kept mum all these years out of respect for Priyan, and because the film became a blockbuster” but is now choosing to open up as Priyadarshan has spoken about turning down the sequel and the upcoming third part of the franchise. He questioned, “How can he talk about turning down our offer to direct the second and upcoming third part, when he did not even complete the first film?”
As per Firoz A Nadiadwala, the version that Priyadarshan handed him had a runtime of three hours and 40 minutes and was full of “depressing scenes.” He also alleged that the director was “absent during the background music recording and dubbing.” For Nadiadwala, it was late writer-director Neeraj Vora who changed the film completely as he “added a lot of punchlines”. Vora later directed the sequel Phir Hera Pheri.
The producer said that after Priyadarshan’s “disappearance,” the film was cut down to a sharp 130-minute runtime, and two songs were added – “Jab bhi koi haseena” and “Tun tunak tun”. The report also claims that Priyadarshan’s version of the film was not a comedy but the story of an economically challenged family.
Nadiadwala is seemingly still holding a grudge against Priyadarshan as he said, “The film, which the audiences saw, was the director’s cut in the sense that the director was cut from the final version.” He also added that the director tried to “convince the actors to say no” to the sequel.