Tiger Zinda Hai the much-awaited release of this year is a sequel to the 2012 hit film, Ek Tha Tiger featuring Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan reprising their roles as Zoya and Tiger. The story takes a leap of 8 years where the two agents Salman and Katrina are on a new mission that requires them to work together.

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In an interview with Bollywoodlife director, Ali Abbas Zafar of the upcoming movie Tiger Zinda Hai spilled the beans about the movie. He did reveal that the inception of the movie was not as Tiger Zinda Hai, but it was an entirely different film titled 360 hours. The basic plot was the same – a rescue operation, led by agents from India and Pakistan, to save 25 Indian nurses abducted by terrorist forces in Iraq. After Sultan, Ali decided to adapt the script into a Tiger franchise – an idea that was loved by all.

Ali Abbas Zafar Talks About His Team’s Reaction To The Story Of Tiger Zinda Hai And About Making A Zoya Zinda Hai In Bollywood
Ali Abbas Zafar Talks About His Team’s Reaction To The Story Of Tiger Zinda Hai

He went on to speak about how Salman, Katrina and YRF Productions (Yash Raj Films) head, Aditya Chopra reacted to the story of Tiger Zinda Hai.

Aditya Chopra

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“When I wrote this story it was not supposed to be Tiger Zinda Hai. It was called 360 hours. It was a story of a rescue mission. It has Indian and Pakistani agents both. So when Sultan got over, I got greedy. I was like… let me make another film with Salman because he gets me a lot of box office. So, I went to Aditya Chopra and asked him if he remembered the story, screenplay I had shared. He said yes and I said I want to make it. He asked me who you want to make it with. I said I want to convert it into a Tiger film and he laughed. And I asked him why not, why can’t we adapt it into a Tiger franchise? I also told him that I had a kickass title – Tiger Zinda Hai. So, he also got greedy and said: “bat to sahi kar raha hai”. I asked him for a week and adapted the entire script as a sequel to Tiger. I narrated it to him and he said it works like ‘magic’. It had become better than what we had. Because as soon as you take two people whom you already know it becomes a family film. They were lovers and now after 8 years how their life has changed. It became a more relatable story. So the dryness of the text went.” said Ali Abbas Zafar.

Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif

“I went to Salman and said “Bhai! I have a story”. He asked me the title and I said Tiger Zinda Hai. And he said “Wah! Kya title hai! Chalo sunao“. And then I narrated him the story. Within 20 minutes he told me that ‘Ali whether this is a sequel or not I am going to do this film because the story is the hero here which is bigger than Tiger or Zoya.” said Ali.

“Then I narrated it to Katrina and she reacted in the same way,” the filmmaker further added.

When asked about what it will take for Bollywood to make a film titled Zoya Zinda Hai centred around the character Zoya from the first movie Ek Tha Tiger he answered,“I think it will take for sure some more guts in filmmakers.” He further added that we are definitely moving in that direction. No, not making a sequel titled Zoya Zinda Hai but having a world where that title is a possibility. “We are definitely heading there. We are definitely writing much stronger characters for women now. Tumhari Sulu is a clear example. Pari is coming, which is Anushka’s (Sharma) film. I think we will eventually reach there,” he said.

Tiger Zinda Hai hits the theatres this December 22. Let us know how did you like the film.

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