In 2005, Ram Gopal Varma paid tribute to Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972) by making the gritty crime thriller, Sarkar, led by Amitabh Bachchan. The subsequent two instalments — Sarkar Raj (2008) and Sarkar 3 (2017) — may not have made much impact, but the franchise gave Hindi cinema a formidable figure in Subhash Nagre. Almost six years since the last instalment, Bachchan is ready to reprise his role as the politician, who rules with an iron fist, in the fourth edition. Producer Anand Pandit reveals that work has begun on Sarkar 4, which is likely to go on floors by early 2024.
Ram Gopal Varma and Anand Pandit
At the moment, Pandit’s team of writers is developing the script. “Amitabh Bachchan and I have spoken about the film. He has verbally agreed to come on board. I cannot think of anybody else in Sarkar 4, except Mr Bachchan. The script will not only be a sequel, but also a prequel that will [depict] incidents that happened before,” says the producer. He also hopes to rope in Abhishek Bachchan, who played Nagre’s son Shankar. While his character was shown dead in the second edition, the producer hopes that the parallel prequel track may leave room for him to return to the film’s universe. “We will see how the script develops. It is one of my biggest wishes to see Mr Bachchan and Abhishek together on screen [again]. They share a huge legacy in the franchise.”
The political crime thriller franchise is synonymous as much with Bachchan, as with Varma, who had helmed all editions so far. However, the filmmaker will not be a part of the latest offering. “Ram Gopal Varma has got nothing to do with the movie, as the rights are with me. We have yet to decide whether we’ll rope in a new or established director. We want [someone] who brings a fresh [voice], while [lending it] a larger-than-life vision,” says Pandit. A larger canvas demands a stronger protagonist. While the third part saw Nagre reigning over Maharashtra, Sarkar 4 will see the protagonist’s influence reaching far and wide. He adds, “His socio-political [domain] will not just be Maharashtra, but across India.”