Ranveer Singh in Don 3. (courtesy: YouTube)

New Delhi:

After Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, police forces of 11 countries (read: gyarah mulkon ki police) have a new target, Ranveer Singh. We are, of course, talking about Don 3, the latest instalment of the Don franchise helmed by Farhan Akhtar. After 12 years of SRK impressing fans as the big bad guy in Don 2, Ranveer Singh is taking on the mantle of the suave anti-hero we all cannot help but root for. The creators of Don 3 shared an announcement video, introducing us to the new Don. Needless to say, the teaser has all the trappings of a sleek action thriller; guns, smoke and a leading man who means business. While a large section of the audience has praised the teaser, the comment section is also inundated with fans asking Farhan Akhtar to bring back Shah Rukh Khan in the iconic role. 

For instance, one fan said, “I have never doubted your talent nor do I dislike Ranveer but casting him in such a character is crushing the legacy of Don. It would have been a lot better if you would have played the character. The cigarette here also doesn’t suit him, how will the entire plot go?! Dil’o ki betaabiyan sab khatam Tata bye bye.” 

Another user said, “No hate for Ranveer Singh, he is amazing but Don is SRK’s. I literally felt like it was some parody and at any moment SRK would show up. Learn from the Race series how the makers butchered the franchise by changing the lead in Race 3. For context, Salman Khan replaced Saif Ali Khan in Race 3.

“There is only one Don … The name is Shah Rukh Khan,” said another fan. “No one can replace SRK as Don. I repeat nobody.” One user said, “Ranveer Singh is the best replacement to SRK and can justify the character but Don without SRK is like Mission Impossible without Tom Cruise.”  “Ranveer Singh is a brilliant actor but it is not possible to reach SRK’s benchmark as Don. I believe there is no one in the industry who can do justice to the character other than SRK,” read another comment.

Meanwhile, the viral teaser opens with a voiceover declaring, “Sher jo so raha hai woh jaagega kab? Poochte hain yeh sab. Unse keh do ki phir jaag utha hoon main, aur phir saamne jald aane ko. Kya hai taakat meri, kya hai himmat meri, phir dikhane ko. Maut se khelna zindagi hai meri, jeetna hi mera kaam hai.11 mulkon ki police dhoondti hai mujhe, par pakad paaya hai mujhko kaun? Main hoon Don.  (When will the dormant lion wake up from slumber? The world eagerly anticipates. I am back so the world can see my courage. I play with death and to win is my job. Convey the message that I have stirred and shall resurface soon. Wanted by the police of 11 nations, yet eluding their grasp. I am Don.)” 

Sharing the teaser, the film’s director Farhan Akhtar wrote, “A New Era Begins. Don 3.”

On Tuesday, Farhan Akhtar shared a detailed post, asking fans to welcome the new Don with the same warmth that they displayed for Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. “In 1978, a character created by Salim-Javed and portrayed by Mr Amitabh Bachchan with effortless elan captured the imagination of theatregoers across the country. That enigmatic character was Don. In 2006, Don was reimagined and brought to life by Shah Rukh Khan in his own irresistibly charming way. From Don‘s sardonic wit to his cool but menacing fury, Shah Rukh embodied his persona. As writer & director, I had a great time creating not one but two Don films with Shah Rukh and both experiences remain very close to my heart. The time has now come to take the legacy of Don forward and joining us in this new interpretation will be an actor whose talent and versatility I have long admired. We hope that you will show him the love you have so graciously and generously shown to Mr Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. A new era of Don begins in 2025…,” Farhan Akhtar wrote in his post.

The original Don, directed by Chandra Barot, premiered in 1978 and featured Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role. The 2006 film of the same name with Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role served as the official remake of the Amitabh Bachchan classic. The sequel, Don 2, was released in  2011.

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