MUMBAI — The bitterness is now in the past. Ajay Devgn, for the first time ever (in a career that began in 1991!) has signed a film with the Yash Raj Films banner, an untitled movie directed by Rahul Rawail’s son Shiv Rawail. Shiv is one more in the long chain of directors launched by producer Aditya Chopra and his banner even from his late father Yash Chopra’s time.
Written by Nayandeep Rakshit, the film is a part of Yash Raj Films’ golden jubilee celebrations as the company completes 50 years in 2021.
The superstar and the producer had been at war ever since Devgn had alleged that the banner had annexed the best movie halls and shows for “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” (2012) and thus sabotaged the release of his co-production “Son of Sardaar” in Diwali. While both films had entered the 100-crore club, “Son of Sardaar” had comparatively done better business vis-à-vis the investment. “Jab Tak…” had scored more overseas, as most Shah Rukh Khan films do.
After Devgn had even resorted to a legal proceeding against YRF, which he lost, things had soured further between the banner and him, with wife Kajol not being invited when the banner celebrated the heroines of their films in the following year. But around 2018, Devgn and Chopra had called it a truce. And today, in the best tradition of the professionalism now seen in Hindi cinema, they have joined forces.
After all, Ajay’s superstardom, along with the other YRF aces (the three Khans led by Salman Khan) and new-found favorite Akshay Kumar, cannot be wished away. Besides, insiders suggest that only the announcement has happened now: the project was planned soon after they made peace—almost 18 months ago. With his entry, the stage is also clear for the re-entry of his wife Kajol, who worked with the banner in “Yeh Dillagi” (1994) and their all-time hit and Aditya’s directorial debut, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (1995).
The banner is now making “Tiger 3” with Salman Khan, Siddharth Anand’s “Pathan” starring Shah Rukh Khan, Vijay Krishna Acharya’s comedy with Vicky Kaushal and, reportedly, another film with Akshay Kumar apart from “Prithviraj Chauhan.”