SRK BACKED OUT OF FILM WITH DILIP KUMAR, BIG B
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