Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. was one of the biggest hits of 2003 and single-handedly brought Sanjay Dutt back into the limelight. The film’s sequel, Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006), was equally successful and the franchise, as of today, is valued at a staggering Rs 500 crore. But we now hear that Rajkumar Hirani, the man who helmed the first two films, will not be directing the third instalment of the series.
A source reveals, “For the third film, Vinod Chopra (producer) has signed on director Subhash Kapoor, whose Jolly LLB is yet to release. It is tentatively titled, Munna Bhai Chale Dilli. Raju won’t be doing the film because he will be extremely busy with P.K., which stars Aamir Khan.”
Apparently, when the hunt for the new director was on, actors Boman Irani, Arshad Warsi and Saurabh Shukla had given Chopra positive feedback about their experience while working with Subhash in Jolly LLB. The source says, “Having faith in their feedback was natural as these are the actors who have worked with Vinod and Raju in the Munna Bhai films.”
The source adds, “Vinod, Raju and Abhijat (Joshi, writer) saw Jolly LLB in a specially- organised screening and liked the film. They felt that Subhash’s sensibility matched what they were looking for in taking the Munna Bhai franchise forward.” Later, Vinod and Raju met Subhash and worked out the arrangement.
Ask Vinod about this development and he confirms, “After seeing Subhash’s work and discussing his thoughts and ideas, Raju, Abhijat and I collectively felt that we have, after a long search, found an individual with the right sensibility and approach to work with us in taking forward the Munna Bhai franchise. I am pleased to welcome Subhash Kapoor into the Vinod Chopra Films family as the director of the next Munna Bhai film.”