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Mumbai Told Me to ‘Go Back’ Many Times but I Prevailed, Says Mission Mangal Director Jagan Shakti

Starring Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha and Taapsee Pannu, Mission Mangal has crossed the Rs 100-crore mark at the box office. 

Mission Mangal director Jagan Shakti asked himself one question several times throughout his journey as a filmmaker: “Is it really worth it?”

He should be a happy man that he chose to stick to his vision and follow his dream because the film, which marked his debut as a director, has crossed the Rs 100-crore mark at the box office. 

“I really slogged hard in the industry. Irrespective of many chances of me being able to direct and not able to direct stuff, I waited for the right script. I think hard work really pays some day. Coming to Mumbai from Bengaluru, where I had a comfortable life, and travelling in local trains. Survival of the fittest happens every day in Mumbai. Mumbai told me many times ‘to go back’ but I prevailed,” Jagan told IANS.

The budding filmmaker says his being a crazy fan of cinema has been his driving force. “I am a crazy fan of cinema and that kept driving me. To finally get to see your name on the screen as a director is the moment for which we do all the slogging and hard work,” he said. 

Before Mission Mangal, Jagan worked as an assistant director in films such as Padman, Holiday, Dear Zindagi, Ki & Ka and Shamitabh

Mission Mangal stars Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen and Sharman Joshi. The film, which opened on August 15, recreates the event around the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) of November 2013. 

Jagan says getting success with his very first project has instilled confidence in him. “It gives a lot of confidence for my second project and handling huge superstars. There is determination towards the craft, bettering it. Trying to give futuristic and new cinema is my goal forward,” he said. 

Another collaboration with Akshay is on the cards. “I am working with him on another project, which again will be a science fiction,” he said, without divulging any more details.

With no plans to take a break to enjoy the success, Jagan has already started working on Ikka, the Hindi remake of the 2014 Tamil blockbuster Kaththi. “I don’t like taking breaks. I think if I go to Goa to enjoy, then the script won’t come to me,” he said. 

On Ikka, he added, “Writing is in the process. The cast has not been finalised.”