Mumbai: When Welcome released in 2007, the Anees Bazmee directorial did brisk business at the box office. And with the film’s sequel being made, the makers have apparently paid a whopping fee of Rs 15 crore to lead actor John Abraham.

After Welcome, its producer Firoz Nadiadwala’s presence in B-Town has been quite limited. While the third installment of Hera Pheri failed to take off, sources say that the sequel of Welcome is all ready to roll towards the end of this year. While from the original cast Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar have been retained, the makers are looking for a replacement for late actor Firoz Khan. Anees will be helming the project.

Our source says, “Nadiadwala wanted to make the sequel of his film since quite some time now. However when talks with Akshay Kumar fizzled out, Firoz was looking for another option. Anees and Firoz decided to cast John and they have apparently paid him Rs 15 crore for the film. Given that John’s upcoming film with Sanjay Gupta is being much talked about, it was but obvious that the actor would be commanding a price like this.”

While Nadiadwala refuses to divulge further details, all he says is, “No, nothing like that! Also, 'Welcome Back' will be a complete family entertainer.”

While the original film starred Katrina Kaif, the sequel’s leading lady is yet to be finalised.


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