Filmmaker Kabir Khan says despite having access to rich literature, the industry fails to have good scripts because not enough writers are nurtured. Kabir, who adapted Hussain Zaidi’s book “Mumbai Avengers” for his 2015 Saif Ali Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer “Phantom”, believes there are not enough adaptations happening in the industry.
“We are still depending on the original scripts written by the writers we have. We have a huge dearth of scripts, dearth of material that can go on screen. In Hollywood an A-list director is usually confused between ten scripts, as to which film he should do in a year. Here, we are dying to get that one script that excites us,” Kabir says. He further adds, the industry is not picking up enough from our history and that is something we really need to start doing.
Having dearth of scripts mirrors an irony of the Indian film industry, touted to produce the most number of films in a year all over the world. This irony, Kabir says, has to be looked in context. “We also have to look into the quality in most of those films. Story is not really the backbone in most of those films. Most of the times a lot of those films are just proposals. Some actors come in together with a director trying to make a spectacle out of it.”
Kabir says adapting a book into a film is a “huge process” and one needs specialised skills to do the task, which is where Hollywood excels. “It’s a huge skill set. We can’t just pick up a book and say ‘this can be easily done for screen.’ We unfortunately don’t have a large pool of screenplay writers. As an industry, we have not nurtured screenplay writers over the years. Now we need to do that,” he adds.