By Joginder Tuteja, May 5, 2011 – 10:40 IST

Milan Luthria Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2 is still a year away but the countdown has already begun for one of the biggest movie events on the cards. Come May 2012 and the much anticipated sequel to Ajay Devgn-Emraan Hashmi starrer Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai would be unveiled before the audience. This would be after the conclusion of IPL Season 5 and the makers are already working backwards to meet the deadline.

Confirms a source attached to the film, “Yes, (producer) Ekta Kapoor and (director) Milan Luthria are sure that May 2012 is the perfect release timing for the film. This is the time when audience has suffered a virtual draught of any major films due to IPL season. This has been a trend for last 3-4 years. Since OUATIM 2 is one of the most anticipated sequels being made, they are not willing to let go off the opportunity. They have already locked their release plans.”

As of now the only confirmed star in the film is Akshay Kumar. Though there is no question of Ajay Devgn coming back in the sequel, it is still unclear whether Emraan Hashmi would make the cut. Also, though there are some leading ladies who have been approached, Ekta and Milan are keeping cards close to their chest and waiting for the right time to make announcement.

They are fine with confirming the release plans though. “Yes, we would be arriving in May next year just when IPL gets over. I am currently neck deep down into The Dirty Picture but the moment its principal shoot is done, I would begin work on OUATIM 2. The film would be going on floors in the last quarter of this year and ready for release by May next year”, says Milan.

He better hurry it up since it is a known fact that OUATIM took quite some time in reaching the finishing line and there was good time gap between the announcement and its eventual release. All was well eventually though once the film opened to rave reviews and turned into a big success. No wonder, expectations are huge from the sequel, especially with Akshay Kumar joining the franchise.

“Yes, I am aware about such huge expectations and frankly, I love it all”, says Milan, “The kind of interest level that has been generated from the mere announcement is a kick good enough. Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi starrer were loved by one and all due to which audiences stay on to be curious about what happens next with Akshay coming into picture. You tell me, which director won’t love a situation where audience is rooting for a film of his to hit the screens?”