Two years after Yuvvraj, Subhash Ghai is gearing up to direct another movie. Buzz is that it will be his most ambitious film yet, with a Rs 100-crore budget and a A-list cast. Quiz him on this and he turns evasive: “Wait till October 24, Mukta Art’s 32nd anniversary, and you’ll know everything.
Right now, I’m still in the process of writing the script, I should be done by August end. Sure, I have a tentative star cast in mind but whom I eventually sign up will depend on a number of factors, including price, salability and availability.”
However, one lesson the showman has learnt is that there are few takers for serious movies like Black And White or the more recent Right Yaaa Wrong. “Neeraj (Pathak) gave it his best shot, Right Yaaa Wrong was a quality film, but may be this kind of courtroom drama is not acceptable to our audiences,” he shrugs.
“No regrets, the film will be screened at the film festival in Germany on July 25 and I’m sure will be a hit on TV and the home video circuit. But to bring the crowds to the theatres, you need to make an entertaining film. When the market changes, the producer’s product needs to change too.”
So Ghai’s next directorial venture will be a “young” film but will revolve around the ghar-parivar in true Ghai tradition because “even trendy youngsters belong to a family”. Will it feature young blood or old favoirites like Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff. “No clues,” he laughs.
However, Ghai says that there’s one film that he will make only with Shah Rukh Khan. Motherland, a war epic that Ghai has been contemplating with SRK as a patriotic soldier and Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan in significant roles, has for the moment been put on hold because “people want to the celebrate now”.
But the veteran producer-director insists that the project is still in his files and if revived, will be made only with Khan with whom Ghai last worked in Pardes 13 years ago.
Before that Ghai has another Mukta Arts production coming up on July 30, Hello Darling, starring Celina Jaitley, Ishaa Koppikar and Gul Panag as the local Charlie’s Angels. The film has been under production for 18 months. Ghai attributes the delay to the multiplex strike, the ongoing economic slowdown and the fact that he was juggling with four projects simultaneously but is confident that the comic caper will have him laughing all the way to the bank.