Confounded? Kapur explains, saying he is fascinated by manipulating and interpreting the stories of people like Mahatma Gandhi and the Buddha, who have gained mythical proportions. “The quotient of truth in it can always be challenged. The saga of Queen Elizabeth has become mythology. The Golden Age shows the conflict of a woman who had given up her mortal needs to achieve divinity when she is attracted to adventurer Walter Raleigh,” he adds. About taking liberty with facts, he comes up with the world’s greatest cliché: “Filmmaking is an art, not a textbook documentary.”
Though the film didn’t get favourable reviews in the West, Kapur is unfazed about its India release. “The film should do well. And the fact that Indian audience is not too familiar with Elizabethan history should mean better business for it.”
Initially, even Cate Blanchett — the Australian actor who won an Oscar nomination for Elizabeth—- wasn’t convinced about this sequel. It required some amount of persuasion on the part of Kapur and Geoffrey Rush. However, she seems to be gung-ho about part three. “In the beginning, Cate didn’t realise what I was trying to say. But now she is very receptive to the idea of a third part which shows her facing the inevitable— death. How will she accept mortality after declaring herself divine? “That will be very interesting to portray,” he says. The sequel comes nearly after a decade, and the final movie on the Virgin Queen will be ready in another five years.
Kapur says he is also charged about taking on some Bollywood projects. “My seven-year-old daughter says Elizabeth is nice, but she breaks into a dance whenever she watches Mr India. So I would love to make a Hindi film with songs and dance soon. Earlier, producers said my concepts were ahead of time. Now I think the time is right,” he adds.
However, the director denies giving the script of Time Machine to Aamir Khan. “How is that possible? I haven’t met him since the Baftas. I am in search of a director for Time Machine, which I am going to produce. UTV will co-produce it.”
He also promises to start working on the much talked-about Paani, which is about a city with a population of 20 million that runs out of water. “This can work as an international film in Hindi as water scarcity is a worldwide problem.”
The next most interesting work expected from him, however, is an animation film, Suitable Cockroach , a rap musical for which AR Rahman and he will work together.