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Dutt’s the way: Bollywood after Sanjay Dutt's SC verdict

Munna Bhai’s future looks bleak with Sanjay Dutt sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case. Further, the actor has decided not to appeal against the SC verdict. "Munna Bhai can wait for three years’, says Subhash Kapoor, who is to direct part three of the superhit comedy franchise.

bollywood Updated: Mar 29, 2013 14:05 IST
Dibyojyoti Baksi
Dibyojyoti Baksi
Hindustan Times
Sanjay Dutt,Subhash Kapoor,Rajkumar Hirani

Munna Bhai’s future looks bleak with Sanjay Dutt sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case. Further, the actor has decided not to appeal against the Supreme Court verdict.

Now, director Subhash Kapoor, who made his debut with the recent hit Jolly LLB and was roped in by filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra to direct the next instalment, says no one but Sanjay will fit the role. “I don’t see Munna Bhai without Sanjay Dutt. I have no problem waiting for Sanjay to come back after three years (since he has already served 18 months) and do Munna Bhai,” he says.

The director also puts all confusion to rest over whether he is to direct the third or the fourth part of the franchise. “I am officially signed to do Munna Bhai part three. Munna Bhai 3 will be a new script that I will be developing with the rest of the team,” says Subhash.

‘Not the time to think about the film’
Says director Raj Kumar Gupta even as actor’s unavailability might put his film in crisis

As soon as the Supreme Court decision — finding Sanjay Dutt guilty in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case — came through, Bollywood celebrities took to social media sites such as Twitter and news media to show solidarity with the actor. Among those standing by him were producers and directors with whom the actor had ongoing commitments. In the four weeks before he surrenders, he is trying to wrap up most of his ongoing projects that includes the Zanjeer remake and Rajkumar Hirani’s P.K., among other films.

The film that might suffer a setback, however, is the Vidya Balan-Emraan Hashmi-starrer Ghanchakkar, where Sanjay is meant to have a cameo role. Asked if they are likely to replace Sanjay, director Raj Kumar Gupta says, “This is not the time to decide on it. I am not thinking on those lines at all. Sanjay Dutt is a (crowd) favourite, so this is not the time to think about the film.”

‘Not sure if we can finish our film’
Says producer Rahul Aggarwal as his crew sports white bands in solidarity for Sanjay

South director KS Ravikumar’s Policegiri, starring Sanjay Dutt, is in the last leg of its shooting schedule. However, the makers might run out of time as Sanjay has to surrender to serve his jail term, for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case by mid-April.

Producer Rahul Aggarwal says, “He’s trying to complete the shoot, but we’re not sure if it will happen. When the verdict came out, we were asked whether we will be able to finish the film… When there is such a tragedy, anyone even asking about the film is immature. I can sacrifice 1,000 films I have planned for him.” The film’s cast and crew is showing their support for the actor by wearing white bands on their hands. “This is our way of showing solidarity. None of them were forced to do it. It started when my father (TP Aggarwal) wore one,” says Rahul.

In a first, Sanjay has been paired with Prachi Desai in the film, which was scheduled for release on June 14.

First Published: Mar 29, 2013 12:11 IST