Yet another reel battle?

Mumbai:  Even as John Abraham reveled in his villainous role in Dhoom, Hrithik Roshan almost stole his thunder in the far more successful Dhoom 2.

And now, after five years, the two actors find themselves battling (albeit unconsciously) for top spot as baddies yet again.

Both John and Hrithik will essay a character allegedly inspired by the famous Mumbai gangster Manya Surve in Shootout at Wadala and Agneepath respectively.

Says Sanjay Gupta, producer and director of Shootout at Wadala, “As far as I am concerned, there is no similarity between the two films. Agneepath was a hardcore potboiler, though I’m not sure how much of that has been retained in the remake. Shootout at Wadala, on the other hand, is an acute re-telling of the Manya Surve story during the Dawood Ibrahim era.”

“We have gone down to meticulous details about Surve’s mannerisms, likes, dislikes and his overall style of living,” he further added.

Agneepath director Karan Malhotra vehemently denies any real-life inspiration for his characters. “Every role in Agneepath comes out of fiction. There is no comparison to anyone in reality,” he insists.

However, with the Agneepath trailer starring Hrithik and Sanjay Dutt becoming talk of the town John must surely be feeling the pinch.

Says a source, “Every actor is concerned about the way he is portrayed on screen. Amitabh Bachchan originally played Surve. By that yardstick, John already has a lot to live up to. And now with Hrithik playing the same role, there is going to be a lot of pressure.”

Interestingly, that’s not the only similarity between the two films. They are both period films set in the ’70s, and will portray Mumbai when it was called Bombay.

Add to this, the rivalry between Sanjay Dutt (who plays Kancha Cheena in Agneepath) and former best friend Sanjay Gupta!

Clearly why the latter flatly refused to react when asked about his opinion on the Agneepath trailer. “No comment,” was all he was willing to say.

Both films are scheduled for release next year within a gap of just four-five months.

The last time we saw lead characters in different films playing the same role was in 2002, when four different films on Bhagat Singh were released in the same year.

Two of them released on the same day! The four actors who played the freedom fighter were Ajay Devgn, Sonu Sood, Bobby Deol and Harbhajan Mann.

Here’s a look at the Agneepath trailer!

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