The makers of Shankar’s 2.0, also known as Robot 2, are in a dilemma. They are in two minds whether to make the high-end spectacle’s arch villain out-and-out mean or not. The filmmakers and the marketing team realised a little late in the day that the current villain of the film, Akshay Kumar, has a clean neo-Manoj Kumar image of an Indian patriot, and he never clicks with the audiences in negative roles. A source close to the film says, “Akshay Kumar has a very strong public image as a philanthropist, do-gooder and a social crusader. His roles as a bad boy have always been rejected.”
Whether it was Khiladi 420 that was his first flop in the Khiladi series, Abbas-Mustan’s Ajnabee, Guddu Dhanoa’s Aflatoon or the gangster’s role in Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai 2, all his past films as a villain have flopped. “Audiences don’t like to see Akshay in negative roles or with strange prosthetics. He was rejected with his buckteeth look in Vipul Shah’s Action Replay. His outlandish make-up for the villain’s role in 2.0 is hardly the stuff dream runs at the box office are made of,” adds the source. This poses a question about the fate of 2.0 and what would happen to Akshay’s antagonism in the film. Apparently, the makers are looking to soften the blow and make his character sympathetic towards the end.