After their comic turn in Welcome Back, John Abraham and Shruti Haasan were to have another on-screen outing as a pair in Nishikant Kamat’s Rocky Handsome. In fact, Rocky was slotted for a first week of October release, following Welcome Back within a month’s time.
But now, Rocky Handsome’s release date has been pushed back by several months — and will only hit the theatres on February 5 next year. The reason for the delay? John felt that the audience would have had an “overdose” of him and Shruti had both Welcome Back and Rocky Handsome been released so close together. “It would’ve been a bit of an overdose specially because I hadn’t been seen in any film for two years before Welcome Back,” John pointed out.
The actor is very confident about Rocky Handsome and believes the delayed release date won’t have any bearing on its reception. “It has a very powerful story, terrific action and solid emotional content. People have liked the bond between the hero and the little girl in Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
Rocky Handsome too has this powerful bonding between a little girl and me, and it will move the audiences to tears. My director Nishikant Kamat and I are very confident about the film, no matter when it releases,” John said.
Initially, the film was to be called Johnny Handsome — an allusion to its leading man’s looks! But as it is also the title of a Hollywood film starring Micky Rourke, the team decided to change it to Rocky Handsome. “Rocky Balboa is one of my favourite heroes,” John explained.
John also praised his director, saying, “Nishi and I go back a long way. We’ve been planning many films together. We did Force. Now Rocky Handsome. We’ll
definitely be working together again. In fact, I am shooting for the sequel to Force right now. But Nishi is not directing it, Abhinay Deo is.”