Karan Johar has just returned from a script development session with Rensil D’Silva who is writing his next film, Student Of The Year. “I wanted to live with it for a while before it starts rolling in this summer,” the director reasons, quickly dispelling misconceptions that it’s a ‘desi’ High School Musical. “It’s about a high school and it’s a musical but that’s where the resemblance ends.”
He also refutes rumours about trying to steal a march on Aditya Chopra with a Mohabbatein remake. “All this talk about rivalry is understandable given that we’re both in a position of power but there’s no competition between us. We’re best friends who can always count on each other’s support. And Student Of The Year is not Mohabbatein,” he asserts.But isn't Shah Rukh Khan playing a professor in this film too? "He’s too young to play one, the only role he's playing is that of a co-producer," says Johar, pointing out his film will launch two industry kids — Soni and Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter Alia and David Dhawan’s scion, Varun — along with Siddharth Malhotra.
While his writer-friend Niranjan Iyenger recommended Alia to him calling her a “star waiting to happen” and the test shoot proved it, the boys were his assistants. “I hope this trend will bring other good looking assistants to my door,” chuckles Johar, who is addressed as ‘uncle’ by Purab Kohli in a coffee ad but insists that if he is ever called uncle or sir in real life, he would want to kill himself. “I want to be called Karan forever and hope I can live up to the expectations of these confident youngsters.”
He still remembers the fun times during his directorial debut film, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). “I wanted to revisit my roots, make one last ‘young’ film before I turned 40. The intensity of My Name Is Khan took its toll. I needed to lighten up and this is my ‘holiday’ movie,” he smiles. Dharma Productions already has two movies on the floors, the Agneepath remake with Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra, and the Imran Khan-Kareena Kapoor starrer, Short Term Shaadi. Besides Student Of The Year, Johar’s expecting to flag off Puneet Malhotra's feel good film that’ll be very different from I Hate Luv Storys and Ayan Mukerji's second film after Wake Up Sid!, this year. Also, there is Dostana 2.
Shrugging off reports that the Dostana sequel has been shelved, he clarifies, “Tarun (writer-director Tarun Mansukhani) is a perfectionist but he should have his script wrapped up in a month. Then, we will talk with the lead talent (Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Katrina Kaif) and reschedule their dates. Dostana 2 will definitely get made.”