Johannesburg provides key location for Aankhen 2

Indian heist thriller Aankhen was the second-highest earning Bollywood film of 2002, grossing US$7.5-million, and the producers of the long-awaited sequel are taking no chances when it comes to meeting fans' expectations for Aankhen 2.

Producer Guarang Doshi will be returning to film after a 10-year absence with the follow-up to his 2002 hit, confident that a strong script, an all-star ensemble cast, and a stunning location for the all-important heist scenes, will make Aankhen 2 more than just a continuation of the original.

The cast includes Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Arshad Warsi, Vidyut Jammwal and Regina Cassandra - with "two more big names" still to be revealed, Doshi told Bombay Times in December. Anees Bazmee (No Entry, Welcome, Singh Is Kinng) will direct.

And Doshi believes they've found the perfect location for the set-piece casino heist.

"The boutique casino hotel in Johannesburg took our breath away," he told Bombay Times. "Director Anees Bazmee loved it so much that he wanted to shoot the entire film there."

Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, Doshi said they were the first to successfully seek permission to film at Emperor's Palace, the ultra-glitzy hotel, conference, gambling and entertainment complex located close to OR Tambo International Airport.

"It's the world's largest casino in our film, so the location had to be really grand," he said.

"We will start the shoot in February in Mumbai, followed by a month-long schedule in Johannesburg, and finally London."

www.gautengfilm.org.za

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