Charm like King Khan, fight like Tom Cruise

When Shah Rukh Khan returns to the big screen after over four years, the audience expects nothing less than a spectacle. This knowledge influenced director Siddharth Anand and producer Aditya Chopra’s decisions as they envisioned Pathaan with Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham. The director believes that two factors form the foundation of a slick espionage thriller — a script that stays one step ahead of the viewers, and action mounted on a grand scale. While Anand and Shridhar Raghavan developed a robust script about an R&AW agent who resurfaces after being captured in his last mission three years ago, the director roped in Mission: Impossible action director Casey O’Neill to fulfil the second requirement.

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Anand shares, “When one sets out to make a spectacle action film with one of the all-time biggest heroes of our country, you need to have a champion team that is unified in the vision. Thankfully, we got an A-team that came together to push the visual envelope. I was delighted to have Casey O’Neill, who has extensively worked with Tom Cruise, by our side.”

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

Emmy Award-nominated O’Neill is regarded as one of the best action directors in Hollywood. He is the brain behind Tom Cruise’s stunts in Jack Reacher (2012), the Mission: Impossible franchise, and Top Gun: Maverick. The stunt coordinator has also worked on Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019), and Marvel Studios’ Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). Pathaan’s teaser has given a fair idea of the action it entails — from Khan and Abraham’s hand-to-hand combat scene atop a moving vehicle, to their bike chase sequence in the snow.

Casey O’Neill

Also Read: Watch: Makers of `Pathaan` give 84-second glimpse of Shah Rukh Khan starrer

 The director heaps praise on O’Neill’s ability to create elaborate set-pieces, as he says, “[Given his] wealth of experience, Casey immediately bought into the idea of creating edge-of-the-seat action for Pathaan that could match what he has done back home in Hollywood. What he has created in the film is mind-boggling.”

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