MUMBAI — It’s been scoop time in the last 24 hours. Here’s the lowdown:
Everyone’s waiting for Shah Rukh Khan to announce his next project. It’s been more than a year since “Zero” and SRK has only produced the super-successful “Badla” since then last year. We are also waiting for the next announcement of “Sanju” director Rajkumar Hirani, and now buzz is that they will do a film together. Kajol and Kareena Kapoor Khan have been reportedly approached as leading ladies, but Hirani reportedly prefers Kajol for this intense love story of two mature people.
It will be remembered in this respect that SRK was the original choice for “Munna Bhai MBBS” and backed out only because of his back problems at the time.
Buzz was that the actor has signed three films – one with Rajkumar Hirani, one with Raj & DK (there are also reports that he has backed out) and one with “Bigil” director Atlee from the South. But while none are confirmed, SRK is likely to star in Siddharth Anand’s next action drama for Yash Raj Films. With this film, the actor will return to the action genre to release in the banner’s golden jubilee year, 2021.
SRK’s last film with YRF was 2016’s “Fan,” a flop. But before that, the actor has done eight lead roles and one cameo in films that have been blockbusters, hits or successes, including the all-time blockbuster “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” in 1995.
There is news that Karan Johar has plans to bring SRK and Ranbir Kapoor together. SRK and Johar have done several films again, including co-producing “Kaal,” “My Name Is Khan” and “Dear Zindagi.” However, but for a cameo in “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,” SRK has never done a lead role with Johar after “My Name Is Khan” in 2010. The film will be “Something different and yet very mainstream” as SRK is not in an experimental mood after “Zero,” “Jab Harry Met Sejal” and “Fan.”
Indra Kumar’s next will star Ajay Devgn and Sidharth Malhotra and will be a social and a comedy. Kumar has remained relevant as a director after over 30 years in the field (last year, his “Total Dhamaal” was a huge hit) and this film will have a social message amidst the comedy.
The filmmaker had narrated three scripts to Devgn. Since he has done a spate of serious movies, the actor was looking for a light-hearted movie with a message. Ajay zeroed in on this script as he liked the larger point the story tried to make amidst the humor. The film is about two bumbling do-gooders with hearts of gold, who are out to improve society. Kumar has reportedly been scripting it for years and is thrilled that the story will finally be made.
The movie, also featuring Rakul Preet Singh, is likely to go on floors in May after Devgn wraps up the shoot of “RRR” and “Bhuj: The Pride of India” and Malhotra completes “Shershaah.” Malhotra is delighted at his first comedy.
This one is not believable—Akshay Kumar has been signed for Rs. 120 crore for a film directed by Aanand L Rai. The film also features Sara Ali Khan and Dhanush and is expected to go on floors in a few months. Digital giants and satellite channels have approached Kumar for multi-film deals but the actor prefers selling films on an individual basis, reports Bollywoodhungama.com.
However, if Akshay charges that kind of money upfront, his films will become too expensive and thus emerge as dangerous projects. The sensible actor, who has given an unbroken tally of 13 successes, hits and blockbusters since late 2015, will surely not damage his own prospects.
As he mentioned in his last India-West interview, when asked what the trick was that made most of his films work, “I make films within reasonable budgets. “Good Newwz” cost only Rs 36 crore. “Mission Mangal” a little more. With those kind of figures, you recover half from the music rights and the other half from overseas rights. So even if a film makes Rs. 120 crore, it is a definite hit. Rs. 200 crore is like a gift from God! There is no stress for anyone, as I make and release my films quickly.”
Now why would he change such a safe approach at the peak of his career with the cream of assignments coming up?