On loop: Sooryavansham is the Amitabh Bachchan film that could give stiff competition to Indra for being aired the most. The other is Nayak, where Anil Kapoor plays an aam addmi chief minister
“We have a large library – of 1,500 films, but only 250-400 films resonate with the audiences,” says Shukla. This arrangement worked out fine when there were three Hindi movie channels, but now there are about a dozen and all play the same films.
It would still work out if you weren’t subjected to them on Saturday evenings when you have absolutely no plans, but, says Mushtaq Sheikh, the best films are reserved for, say, January 26 and Diwali and Holi... you still have a lot of primetime slots to fill. And to push numbers, “you have to show the films that you know will do well,” he says.
We’re surpised when the film is not playing on television.
The strange thing is that both Set Max and Star Gold claimed to have not shown the film since 2011. Yet, we remember watching it after 2011 on the two channels – in the last year too. Twitter is full of jokes about the film being every movie channel’s favourite film, because “Indra the Tiger is no longer a movie. It’s a channel.”
Now though, you will find it playing on Sahara One and Filmy: both, however, declined to comment on the film.
This makes one wonder why the film hasn’t been remade in Hindi. In 2012, there were rumours that Sanjay Leela Bhansali had acquired the rights and was going to make it with Akshay Kumar in the lead. But as it turns out, Bhansali and Kumar were actually working on the remake of the Tamil film Ramana, to be released this year.
Ashwini Dutt, Indra’s producer (he also produced Jaani Dost, the hit 1980s film starring Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Parveen Babi and Sridevi) has been constantly trying to make it in Hindi. “I offered Prabhudeva the direction also,” he says.
“I keep telling dad, it’s high time we made it in Hindi,” says Dutt’s daughter, Swapna. “There have been a lot of calls from Bollywood, but each person wants to make the film on their own, whereas we want to co-produce it. So that’s where it’s got stuck,” she says. “And we need a big hero. I want Salman Khan!”
Is Salman listening?
Follow @SaudaminiJain on twitter
From HT Brunch, March 8
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