Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Di­rec­tor Sub­hash Ghai had planned an am­bi­tious war film with three of the big­gest su­per­stars in Bol­ly­wood — Dilip Ku­mar, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan — but he had to shelve it. “In 2003, I wanted to start a war film called Mother Land, where I had cast Dilip Ku­mar, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. The script was ready and three songs were also recorded, but at the last minute, Shah Rukh backed out,” Ghai says. The film­maker, who has pre­vi­ously worked with Shah Rukh in Pardes (1997), says that the su­per­star wanted a solo-hero project back then and hence the dream project could not go on floors. “He (Shah Rukh) felt that there are so many char­ac­ters in the film. He wanted to do a solo-hero film then, but mine was not.It was a story of Dilip saab, Amitabh Bachchan, and Shah Rukh. On my wish list were also Aish­warya Rai, Pri­ety Zinta and Mahima Chaudhry for the film, but that’s des­tiny,” he says. There was an­other film, called Shikhar, that Ghai had planned to make with Shah Rukh. Talk­ing about it, the film­maker says, “Be­fore Pardes, I had de­signed a film called Shikhar, star­ring Jackie Shroff and Shah Rukh, where we were to cast a new girl. It was a love story with a war back­drop. We had done our muhu­rat too and recorded a song af­ter sign­ing AR Rah­man,” he says, adding, “Ishq Bina Kya Jeena Yaaro was a song from Shikhar (which even­tu­ally be­came one of the most pop­u­lar songs from his film Taal, 1999).” Ghai, whose di­rec­to­rial de­but was the 1976 film Kalicha­ran, fur­ther adds, “Trimurti (1995) re­leased and flopped, the me­dia and dis­trib­u­tors said ‘How could you give a flop af­ter ten hits? You bet­ter re­tire!’” The phase put Ghai and his team in con­fu­sion, as they de­cided to scrap the am­bi­tious war film and in­stead fo­cused on mak­ing a small film. “My team thought, since Shikhar was a very big war film with huge in­vest­ment, let’s make a small bud­get film,” Ghai shares. “I also thought that let’s make a small film (which hap­pened to be Pardes), shoot within a year and come back to Shikhar later,” he adds. When Pardes re­leased and be­came a hit, the film­maker moved on to helm Taal.

Be­fore Pardes (1997) I had de­signed a film called Shikhar, star­ing Jackie Shroff and Shah Rukh SUB­HASH GHAI, FILM­MAKER


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