The story of Omerta was suggested to director Hansal Mehta by actor Mukul Dev in 2005, who marks his debut as a writer. Mehta said that at the time when Dev told him the story, the internet was “really slow”. So he had to buy books, material from the archives and magazines for the research. He started developing the script but made Shahid (2012) with Rajkummar Rao instead, as he felt the latter was an “easier film to make”. He credits Rao being a reason Omerta was made. “I had to meet Rajkummar and because I met him, he became an enabler and because of him, I could make this film.” Initially, Hansal was thinking of casting Riz Ahmed, a British actor of Pakistani descent, as the lead actor for Omerta.
Mehta stated that his intention behind making Omerta was to explore evil as a “human characteristic”. He further said that he wanted to leave the audience with a sense of “awe, disgust, hate, surprise” and to examine the “ramifications of these [terror] events on their lives today.” Mehta called the villain of the film, Omar Sheikh, the “Hannibal” of terrorism who could be planning how to outwit you even while talking to you.”
Mehta further told that the film “exposes state-sponsored terrorism and how it manipulates young minds into believing a sordid interpretation of Jihad.” The film was shot in real locations across London and Punjab, Old Delhi, parts of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh in India, while the scenes of Afghanistan and Pakistan were recreated. Mehta, along with his crew, visited some of the places that Ahmed Sheikh had visited. Mehta said that the film does not show the backstory of Sheikh and how he became a terrorist: “It is an uncomfortable film which will raise uncomfortable questions and answers that we have to compel our establishment to find”. Several real-life footage’s were purchased from different sources of the Indian Airlines flight 814 hijacking, media footage following the September 11 attacks.
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