The Hindi film industry has completed its 100 years. But there has never been a phase in such a long period of time, where such protests and boycotts have been met, as is happening these days. The boycott campaign, which began on social media for the last few years, has now hit the road. Many great movies have become victims of this campaign. In recent months ‘Runway 34’ by Ajay Devgn, ‘Jersey’ by Shahid Kapoor, ‘Heropanti 2’ by Tiger Shroff, ‘Bachchan Pandey’ and ‘Samrat Prithviraj’ by Akshay Kumar, ‘Dhaakad’ by Kangana Ranaut, Ranveer Singh La cinema bad luck like ‘Jayeshbhai Jordaar’ and Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘Shamshera’ have been seen at the box office. Among the new films, Aamir Khan’s film ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ and Akshay Kumar’s ‘Raksha Bandhan’ had high hopes, but these films also fell victim to boycott.
Due to the #BoycottBollywood campaign, Bollywood has lost billions of rupees. Including ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ and ‘Raksha Bandhan’ alone, there has been a loss of around Rs 150 crore. Previously, if we look at the budget and collection of all movies, this year alone Bollywood has suffered a loss of Rs 1,500-2,000 crore. In the last two years, due to Corona, Bollywood’s back has already been broken. This year it was expected that after the release of many big budget movies, the box office condition would improve, but the way people angry at Bollywood have boycotted Hindi movies, so they have wasted sweat so that movies arrive at cost. Because of this, many filmmakers are now putting their next movies on hold. Not only this, some creators have put their movies on the back burner forever.
Let’s meet those movies, which have been canned even before they were made.
1. The Immortal Ashwatthama
In the year 2019, director Aditya Dhar who made a super hit movie like ‘Uri The Surgical Strike’ with Vicky Kaushal announced that he would make a movie about Ashwatthama, a major character in Mahabharata. Sara Ali Khan was cast along with Vicky Kaushal in this film. Ronnie Screwvala was going to produce the film. A possible location was sought for this film. Initially the technical preparations were made. It worked in VFX. But at the last moment, the producers pulled their hands in view of the first Corona and then the Bollywood boycott campaign. Had this film been made, it would have been the most expensive film of Vicky Kaushal’s career. Along with this, the greatness of movies like Adipurush and RRR can also be seen in this Bollywood movie. But now the film has been shelved. The first poster for this movie was released on 11th January 2021. Due to all the preparations for this, Rs 30 crore has also been spent. The expected budget of the film was said to be 300 to 400 million rupees.
About four years ago, in the year 2018, Sanjay Leela Bhansali had announced that he would make the movie Inshallah with Salman Khan. Alia Bhatt participated in this film along with Salman Khan. The shooting of the movie had also started. Even the release date was finalized. The movie Inshallah was supposed to be released on Eid 2020, but due to some creative differences, Salman left the project before filming progressed. Following this, Twitter Bhansali Production announced the closure of the film. Salman and Sanjay met again after 13 years for this movie. Previously, the two had worked together on ‘Khamoshi: The Musical’ (1996), ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ (1999), and ‘Saawariya’ (2007). After the Inshallah movie closed, Salman said, “Sanjay Leela Bhansali is my friend since before the Khamoshi movie. He met me through Manisha Koirala. After that, we worked on the Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam movie. When he came me with the movie Inshallah, I liked it and we decided to do it. I can say one thing that Bhansali cannot betray with his movie. I want him to do this movie.
The biggest impact of the ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’ movie disaster at the box office has been on the lead actor of this movie, Aamir Khan. After the movie ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’, he was supposed to work on the T-Series biopic ‘Mogul’, the company’s founder, Gulshan Kumar. The film was announced by Gulshan Kumar’s own son, Bhushan Kumar. Previously, he wanted to cast Akshay Kumar in this film. But due to the creative difference, later when he talked to Aamir Khan, he accepted this role. But at that time he was involved in ‘Lal Singh Chaddha’, so it was decided that after the release of this film, he would start working on Mogul. Meanwhile, Subhash Kapoor, who directed the film, got caught up in the MeToo movement. The movie was also delayed because of them. After that also came Corona. After overcoming all these problems, when Aamir agreed to work on the film, now Bhushan has taken a step back. Looking at the Bollywood boycott, he understands that there is no need to take risks at this time. Because the anger of the people is maximum on Karan Johar and then on the trio Khan. In such a situation, making a movie with them means failing. At the moment, this film has been put on hold.
Karan Johar announced his mega budget movie ‘Takht’ in the year 2018. Character posters were also released at that time. There was talk of making this period drama on a larger scale. This film was the dream project of Dharma Productions, as Karan’s father, Yash Johar, dreamed it up to make it. That’s why Karan had included his whole gang in this movie. In this, actors like Ranveer Singh, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar, Jhanvi Kapoor, and Anil Kapoor were cast in the lead roles. The screenplay for this multi-star film was written by Sumit Roy while the direction was handled by Karan Johar himself. But after the mysterious death of Sushant Singh Rajput, the way Karan Johar’s name was included in this case and objected. He was scared when he saw her. At that point he put the movie on hold. After Corona came and now looking at the Boycott Bollywood campaign, Karan could hardly think of making such a high budget movie. That’s why the movie will surely be boxed.
5. Munna Bhai Chale America
After the success of the movie ‘Munna Bhai MBBS’ in the year 2003 and ‘Lage Rahe Munnabhai’ released in 2006, Vidhu Vinod Chopra announced that he would make the movie ‘Munnabhai Chale America’. The script for this movie was in the works and Raj Kumar Hirani was going to direct it after the release of the movie ‘Sanju’. But at the same time, Sanjay Dutt was jailed for illegal possession of weapons. After that, there were also problems getting a visa for him to come to the United States. Since Sanjay was the lead actor in this film, Vidhu was unable to replace him and hire another actor. In view of all these problems, the film was put on hold. In the year 2017, Sanjay had said in an interview, “Filming for the third Munna Bhai sequel is not happening right now. Unless I get a US visa, this is not going to happen. Based on the conversation I had with Raju ji and Vinod ji, all I can say is that the script is currently being worked on. As soon as I complete my Sanju biopic, Raju ji will start working on the script himself (Munna Bhai) and I hope that, with the best wishes from all and the grace of God, the film is ready for next year.