Kick 2: Salman Khan to play a double role in this hugely anticipated sequel?

Sources reveal that the sequel to Kick, which created a riot at the box-office in 2014, may see Salman Khan playing a double role with the younger character taking on bigger challenges

By Manishaa R

The much-talked about Kick sequel which has been confirmed for a Christmas 2019 release, will witness Salman Khan back as the ‘Devil’ but with a new twist to the tale.  According to sources, the superstar is likely to essay a double role of a father and son, with the story taking a 20-year leap on the lines of the Ravi Teja starrer, Kick 2.  Sources also reveal that the younger Salman in the film may have new traits to his character which make him a formidable threat to all his enemies, who try to challenge him.  Apparently both Sajid and Salman, who was in the know of the script since the past two years, kept improvising on it, after which it was recently finalized.

The much-talked about Kick sequel which has been confirmed for a Christmas 2019 release, will witness Salman Khan back as the ‘Devil’ but with a new twist to the tale

More interestingly, Sajid Nadiadwala is said to have once again roped in the original Kick writer Rajat Aroraa, who was instrumental in regaling the audiences with some of his memorable dialogues in the film. Apparently both Aroraa and Sajid Nadiadwala had been working exhaustively on the script of Kick 2 for the past two years, giving a new edge to the story that will now showcase Salman Khan in a role that will be high on both emotion and action.

In one of his earlier interviews post the phenomenal success of Kick, Sajid had said that one of the reasons for Kick being a huge success was the equation he shared with Salman and the way he understood him, “I felt that all the small things that people enjoyed in the film were because I knew Salman but definitely those numbers could not have been achieved without him,” he had said. In another media interaction he had confessed how it was a huge responsibility to work with Salman considering the hysteria among his fans and his huge fan base.

In a media interaction post the success of Kick, Sajid Nadiadwala  had confessed how it was a huge responsibility to work with Salman considering the mass hysteria he commanded among his fans

It is a known fact that Salman Khan and Sajid Nadiadwala have been thick friends for more than two decades since they first collaborated for the 1996 film Jeet, after which they gave several hits together like Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi. It was Salman who inspired Sajid to make his directorial debut with the action comedy Kick, which went on to make history at the box-office and had the unique distinction of being Salman’s first film to enter the Rs 200 cr club. It is a little-known fact that it was Sajid Nadiadwala who gifted the title rights of Bharat-the upcoming epic film to be directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, to Salman Khan when he and his brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri felt that it would be the only apt title for the film.


Padman to head for a massive solo release, exhibitors welcome decision

By Manishaa R

With Akshay Kumar’s mass-following and the socially relevant subject of Padman, it is only imperative to have a huge release, say exhibitors

With Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary now being deferred to February 16, Padman is said to be heading for a massive solo release across India in a good number of screens. The decision has been welcomed by exhibitors some of whom were in a dilemma about allocating screens to Padman and Aiyaary in the face of rising demand for Padmaavat, which is growing on the audiences in its second week.

Well-known distributor and exhibitor Akshaye Rathi, who has screens across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, feels that it advantage Padman, which deserves a good number of screens in keeping with Akshay Kumar’s mass-following and the subject, “Padman is a subject that calls for serious endorsement not just in the Indian markets but over the world. Also Akshay Kumar shares a great connect with the masses. His films certainly deserve a wide release. When you are dabbling with a subject that is socially relevant, it is only imperative for it to have a huge release,” Rathi says.

According to distributor-exhibitor Rajesh Thadani the decision to postpone Aiyaary by a week, will not work just for Padman but for Aiyaary too, “The clash between the two films would have affected both due to the limited number of screens. Also Padmaavat is performing very well so the decision is good for everyone concerned. It will now be interesting to watch how the screens are divided between Padmaavat and Padman,” Thadani says.

Aiyaary should not be underestimated says exhibitor Akshaye Rathi

Would Aiyaary have changed the equation for Padman, apart from the number of screens? According to Rathi, the potential of Aiyaary cannot be overlooked for the simple reason that it has the formidable name of Neeraj Pandey as director, “Neeraj Pandey is among the few directors who has time and again succeeded in making entertaining and engaging films.  Knowing that he is the man behind Aiyaary, it would be incorrect to underestimate the possibility of the film,” Rathi avers. On the other hand, Rathi feels that Akshay Kumar’s films invariably make a mark at the box-office irrespective of the competition, “Akshay Kumar is among the few stars in the industry who has consistently delivered box-office success. Almost every film he does is made on a moderate budget and assures a definite lifetime business of a minimum Rs 100 cr.  It doesn’t matter whether his films have a solo release,” Rathi states.

“We want Padman to reach to the maximum number of audiences,” says producer Prernaa Arora

Meanwhile the pre-release curiosity for Padman has reached a new high with celebrities from Aamir Khan to Varun Dhawan, Anushka Shetty, Alia Bhatt and others, taking on the #Padmanchallenge and endorsing the message of the film. According to producer Prernaa Arora, there is a positive buzz surrounding the release of the film not just in India but the international market too, “It is now a global film after it was spoken about in Oxford Union, the world’s most prestigious debating society. We want it to reach the maximum number of audiences. Also it is the boldest film ever and kudos to Akshay sir for that. He has never shied away from taking up films with socially relevant issues, be it Toilet Ek Prem Katha earlier or Padman now. He is the true hero of the masses,” she says.

As of now Sony Pictures is said to be lining up a huge release for Padman in the range of 2800-3000 screens, “Sony pictures is an international studio that has solid clout in the Indian and international market. It will go the extra mile to ensure that the film gets an extraordinary release,” Rathi says.


Padmaavat has done India proud, says Hirachand Dand-President of Film Exporters Association

By Manishaa R

The President of the Indian Film Exporters Association, Hirachand Dand has hailed the phenomenal success of Padmaavat in North America, describing it as a celebration of “India’s second biggest masterpiece after Baahubali”. Dand who has been closely tracking the overwhelming overseas response to the film, added that there was a huge craze for the film not only in North America but even the region of East Africa where there is a market for select Indian films, “I was in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam last week and it is drawing housefull crowds there. I also learnt that the film is doing exceptionally well in Kenya and Tanzania. Moreover it has done exceptional business in the Gulf too with the first week collections at 10.8 million Dirhams. But the business in North America could be considered as over the top. The audiences in the overseas territories are completely bowled over by the film and its grandeur. Padmaavat has certainly done India proud,” he said.

The Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone-Shahid Kapoor starrer which set the record of being the highest single day grosser in North America at $1.85 million on January 27 and later the all-time biggest opening weekend at $4.9 million (first four days), continues to draw packed houses in the second week. According to latest reports, the North American distributors, Viva Entertainment Group are now adding 30 more screens in the second week including 9 IMAX 3D screens to cope up with the increased demand for the film.  According to the latest tally for the North American market, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus has collected $6,461,556  from 328 screens so far.

Going by its performance and the figures so far, Padmaavat is heading for a new record  for being the second highest grossing film overseas after Baahubali- Hirachand Dand, President, Indian Film Exporters Association

According to Dand, the audiences in North America have a fascination for larger than life costume dramas and historical films, besides romantic family films, “If I may rightly recall, Jodha Akbar also a very good run in North America. The audiences there throng to see such films,” he said.

According to latest reports, the North American distributors, Viva Entertainment Group are now adding 30 more screens in the second week including 9 IMAX 3D screens to cope up with the increased demand for the film

Dand is expecting the film to set new records in the overseas territory with the exceptional response it continues to draw, “Going by its performance and the figures so far, Padmaavat is heading for a new record  for being the second highest grossing film overseas after Baahubali. The film is also performing exceptionally well in Srilanka, Australia, New Zealand Singapore, Germany and several other pockets in the overseas territory,” he said.



Anushka Sharma has given her career best performance in #Pari, says producer Prernaa Arora

Prernaa Arora considers her collaboration with Anushka Sharma for Pari as her  best decision ever

By Manishaa R

The producer of Pari, Prerna Arora has described Anushka Sharma’s performance in the film as one of the best ever in recent times, “Anushka has amply proved her talent in her last few films but she is sure to take the country by storm with Pari. The film has been made with a lot of sincerity and Anushka has given her career best in the challenging role. It will certainly be one film to watch out for,” Prernaa said, adding that she was glad to have collaborated with the actress on the film, “Anushka is a super-talented girl, a super woman and I am happy that I collaborated with her on Pari. I consider this film as a feather in the cap for my company. It is among the best films that I will have ever released. I am glad that I took the decision,” Prernaa said.

Anushka is a super-talented girl, a super-woman and I am happy that I collaborated with her on Pari- Prernaa Arora, co-producer, Pari

Prerna who is currently in the news for her ambitious productions and her socially-driven films, also admitted to being overwhelmed with the response to the second teaser of the super-natural horror film, “It has further raised the curiosity about the film. Everyone is curious to know about Anushka’s role in the film and we are waiting to spring the surprise,” she said.

Pari is being co-produced by Anushka Sharma for her banner Clean Slate Films in association with Prernaa Arora’s Kriarj Entertainment. It will be her first release after her celebrated wedding to Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Both of Anushka’s earlier two productions, NH10 and Phillauri, dealt with socially relevant issues of honor killings and superstition. The actress was lauded for her performance in these films. The movie which costars Parambrata Chatterjee, Rajat Kapoor and Ritabhari Chakraborty, has been directed by Prosit Roy, who had earlier worked as an assistant director in Phillauri.  Pari is scheduled to release on March 2, 2018.



Fitness diva Shilpa Shetty Kundra awarded for extraordinary brand connect

Shilpa, who has now come to acquire the reputation of one of the most popular fitness brand ambassadors, was awarded for her achievements at the Brand Vision Summit for her extraordinary brand connect

Her passion for fitness led Shilpa Shetty Kundra to release her own yoga DVD inspiring thousands of women to take up yoga to get back into shape.  Looking at the phenomenal response to the DVD, Shilpa then plunged further into wellness industry to establish the highly successful Shilpa Shetty Channel which inspired a whole wellness movement and proved to be a one-stop-shop for fitness enthusiasts across the globe.

Last year the fitness diva turned author with her award winning book ‘The Great Indian Diet’. The health and fitness book topped Amazon’s bestseller list and continues to remain one of the highest selling books in the health segment. More recently, the wellness entrepreneur announced her second book titled ‘The Diary of a Domestic Diva’, in which she featured 50 of her best recipes.

Shilpa, who has now come to acquire the reputation of one of the most popular brand ambassadors of fitness, was recently awarded for her achievements at the Brand Vision Summit for having extraordinary brand connect. The actress admitted to being excited about receiving the award, “This is truly encouraging,” she said.

Brand Vision has garnered immense love from its audience owing it to the mix of personalities and companies from the fields of business, entertainment, sports, art and  literature, philanthropy and media which are glorified at the Brand Vision podium.


Salman Khan takes time out from hectic schedule to give the clap for Marathi film, Bonus

The superstar is known to have a great fascination for Marathi cinema, apart from  his long-standing friendship with director Mahesh Manjrekar

He has been busy with the shooting of his upcoming film, Race 3 but #SalmanKhan recently took time out of his hectic schedule to give the mahurat clap for a Marathi film, Bonus.  It is a known fact that Salman has a great fascination for Marathi cinema, apart from the fact that he shares a close association with his filmmaker friend, Mahesh Manjrekar. Salman had last rendered a song for Manjrekar’s FU-Friendship Unlimited and had also launched the music of Manjrekar’s film Rubik’s Cube, which starred Gashmeer Mahajani in the lead role.

Sources point out that Salman’s decision to give the clap for Bonus is an extension of the association he shared with Manjrekar and his team during the making of Rubik’s Cube. Gashmeer Mahajani who is the son of well-known Marathi actor, Ravindra Mahajani, is also a theatre actor and choreographer. Produced by Govind Ubhe, Rabish Patil, Sandesh Patil and M. Nitin, and written and directed by Saurabh Bhave, Bonus stars Gashmeer Mahajani and Pooja Sawant in the lead roles.  The film will be released in mid-2018.


Farah Khan choreographs Hindi version of Zingaat for Jhanvi-Ishaan starrer Dhadak

Remember the energetic number Zingaat in the Marathi blockbuster Sairat, which saw audiences swinging to the beats of the number in theatres?  The number had become such a rage after the release of the film that exhibitors screening Sairat faced a big challenge controlling young boys and girls who would gyrate to the beats of the number in front of the screen. Now producer Karan Johar and director Shashank Khaitan are said to have recreated the same number composed by Ajay-Atul for Dhadak-the much-talked about remake of Sairat.  Reportedly while the lyrics and the name of the song have been changed, the original score is very much the same. More interestingly the makers have roped in ace choreographer Farah Khan to take the song to another level. Farah is said to have finished picturising the song recently and sources reveal that it would be one of the big highlights of Dhadak.

It may be recalled that the remake of Sairat has been making headlines ever since its launch. The film has also been in the news for the sizzling chemistry between debutante star-kids Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khattar, who seem perfect for the intense romance. Dhadak is being lined for a 20th July 2018 release.


#AamirKhan was hooked on to the script of #RangDeBasanti the moment he read it, recalls writer Kamlesh Pandey

On the eve of 11 years of Rang De Basanti, famed writer Kamlesh Pandey reveals how the revolutionary film about modern-day patriotism had no takers, until #AamirKhan stepped on board 

By Manishaa R

The 2006 national-award winning film, Rang De Basanti, which redefined patriotism and inspired a whole generation towards a movement, would never have been made on the same scale had it not been for Aamir Khan. According to noted writer, Kamlesh Pandey, who conceptualized and wrote the story and screenplay, the subject initially had few takers with financiers and investors refusing to invest in the film, “Those were the days of candy floss romances like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. Moreover most of the producers we approached concluded that it was another story on Bhagat Singh though it was essentially a story on young India in the year 2000.  Prior to that six Bhagat Singh films had flopped miserably and they did not want to take risks,” Pandey recalled.

A few makers pointed out that the story did not have any commercial ingredients, “The script did not boast of big fat Punjabi weddings, great costumes and production values. There were apprehensions about whether anyone would be willing to see a bunch of patriots, who were inspired by their role models,” Pandey revealed.

“The script did not boast of big fat Punjabi weddings, great costumes and production values. There were apprehensions about whether anyone would be willing to see a bunch of patriots” 

Realising that the road ahead was tough, he and director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra decided to make the film on a small scale with the talented Manoj Bajpai playing the protagonist, “Manoj was a ghar ka actor and he was very gracious. We also managed to get some sponsorship from an independent UK based producer but he had issues because he wanted certain actors to play roles, which was inappropriate.”

It was a chance meeting with Aamir Khan that changed the entire graph of the film, when he mentioned the one line idea of ‘what if Bhagat Singh were alive today’, “He was curious to know more. He got hooked to the script the moment he read it. The next moment he gave his nod for the film, though Manoj Bajpai was very gracious to step down,” Pandey recalls.

Aamir then got celebrated music composer, Rahman on board for the film and suddenly the film was being sought after by makers, “After Lagaan, Rahman and Aamir were considered a devastating combination and their teaming up was considered a great bet. UTV which had rejected the film three times sent across a message expressing a desire to come on board,” Pandey recalled.

Pandey also revealed how Aamir had no problems about the fact that he was part of an ensemble cast, despite being a superstar in his own right, “He was well aware of the fact that it had an ensemble cast and was not a hero-centric film. He understood his role so well that he never tried to impose himself or make it appear as if he was the hero. On the contrary, he enacted his role so remarkably well that he calibrated his own performance to the level of the other boys, which made it look like he was part of the team and not the hero of the team. I would say that his was one of the most sensitized performances at that time,” he said.

Aamir Khan calibrated his own performance to the level of the other boys, which made it look like he was part of the team and not the hero of the team.

According to the legendary ad maker turned script writer who has also penned the scripts of successful films like Saudagar and Tezaab, Aamir is among the few actors in the industry who has got a deep understanding of stories and scripts, “That’s because he had assisted his uncle, Nasir Hussain for a long time, who was basically a writer. He had been assisting a writer for a very long time, so he understood writing very much.  The writers who have scripted his films know well how he understands and interprets them,” he said.

RDB eventually broke all records at the box-office with young audiences hailing the film and its very inspiring message. Pandey vividly recalls the little joke that Rakeysh Mehra and his wife Bharati would often share with him, “We used to define Rang DE Basanti as a Yash Chopra film gone wrong. When the film became a huge hit, Bharati called me and said, I think we must have done something right. We never anticipated that kind of success but somewhere within I had this feeling that the disillusionment I felt with the system would resonate among young Indians. He was also overwhelmed when Aamir officially signed a thanks on his copy of the Rang De Basanti script when it was released in a book format.

However Pandey’s biggest feeling of satisfaction came when he was invited to address a gathering of media students in a suburban college about building up awareness to social challenges, “There was a boy who escorted me to the hall and said thank you for giving me Rang De Basanti. I was happy and I felt job was done but soon after that the 200 odd boys and girls also shouted and thanked me for the film. They literally mobbed me. After that it became a routine at every place, young people would come to me and thank me for giving Rang De Basanti. That was more than anything I could ask for,” he smiled.





#UrvashiRautela spent a bomb for the black Belluccio gown she sported at the Filmfare awards night

The actress also boarded a specially chartered flight from Surat to Mumbai to make it in the nick of time for the awards ceremony

The bold and black Belluccio gown that Urvashi Rautela wore at the recent Filmfare awards night, which made her the cynosure of all eyes, is said to have cost her a steep $25,000. The glamorous event witnessed celebrities at their fashionable best but it was Urvashi who seemed to make a statement with the way she carried herself in the outfit. More interestingly, the Hate Story 4 actress kept her commitment for the awards night by boarding a chartered plane from Surat where she was present for a prestigious launch. Apparently the actress, who was recently roped in as the celebrity brand ambassador of the Grandeza club, was in a dilemma since both the events were scheduled on the same day. According to a source from Urvashi’s team, the actress wanted to make sure that she did not do injustice to either of the two events, “Urvashi is the second celebrity after Hrithik Roshan to be roped by Grandeza and her fans in Surat had assembled in full strength to watch her at the event. She did not want to disappoint them by leaving midway and held on till the event was wrapped up. On the other hand, she was well aware about her commitment for the Filmfare awards night knowing her long-term association with the Times group as part of Miss Universe India pageant. That’s when she took a chartered flight to Mumbai,” the source revealed.

Earlier in May 2017, Urvashi was heavily trolled on the social media for squandering money and booking a VVIP table worth Rs 5 lakhs for being part of a privileged audience at the Justin Bieber concert held in Mumbai. However the actress had strongly defended her decision, “A number of people condemned me for spending that kind of money for the Justin Bieber concert. They felt it would have been a better idea to donate it to the needy but I am surprised why the two things are being mixed up. Going to a concert of a celebrated performer, whom you adore and whose work inspires you and donating to the needy, are two entirely different things. I valued that concert beyond anything else and it was important for me. As for working for the needy, I also have a foundation where I do my bit for charity. That is something which I do without telling people,” she had said.