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Sohum Shah talks about a sequel to Tumbbad


The actor-producer confirmed that plans for a sequel have been set in motion. Shah is looking for a writer as Anand Gandhi and Rahi Anil Barve may not return for the sequel.

Mayur Lookhar

Actor-producer Sohum Shah's period horror film Tumbbad (2018) received critical acclaim and while the film did not set the box office on fire, given its limited release, the word of mouth was also largely positive.

For such an engrossing film that stood out for its story, telling performances and cinematography, Tumbbad got just 575 screens when it was released on 12 October 2018.

But now fans can brace for a sequel as Shah has admitted that a follow-up is on the cards. 

“I always knew I would take this idea forward even when I was working on the original," Shah told the tabloid Mumbai Mirror. "After the film's release, we got multiple requests for a sequel. I have already started developing the idea and am scouting for writers."

The actor-producer said it would be a different story this time, but the connection to the place Tumbbad would be retained. "Some of the characters, including Hastar, will be retained," he said. "Even I will return in some way though we are yet to decide how.”

Set in the remote hamlet of Tumbbad in the Konkan belt of Maharashtra, the film's story was based on a local legend. Sohum Shah played the lead character.

While Shah may return as actor and certainly as producer, it seems director and co-writer Barve, and creative producer and co-writer Anand Gandhi may not. “From what I know, Rahi is busy with a couple of projects, one that is said to be big period drama on a digital platform," a source told Cinestaan.com.

The source also said it is quite certain Gandhi will not be part of the sequel. According to the source, there were too many creative differences in the making of the first film and "I don’t see Sohum Shah and [co-producer] Aanand L Rai including him in their plans".

According to the source, the story is almost ready but will need to be fleshed out. Shah could return as the grown-up son of his character Vinayak, or as the son of his mistress, played by Ronjini Chakraborty.

Not just fans of the film but producer-director Karan Johar may also raise a cheer to news of the sequel. Johar recently saw the film and was blown away.

“This year's content-driven films have gone through the roof," the filmmaker later said in a statement. "Everything you thought would never work has worked! Smaller films that you would have imagined would just fade away into oblivion are doing X amount, like Tumbbad that is actually in cinema halls for nearly seven weeks, and it touches a number only because it's relentless.”

The source also revealed that once the film was ready, a host of top producers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Phantom Films had shown an interest in coming on board as co-producers or taking up its distribution.

“Both Bhansali and Phantom were keen to distribute Tumbbad," the source said. "The talks had progressed well with Phantom but they backed out after the sexual harassment allegations against partner Vikas Bahl. Both Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane found the film super cool. Sohum Shah then went with Aanand L Rai for he was the first to evince interest in the film.”