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    Dec 2009

    Default Akshay-Salman-Saif for Sajid Nadiadwala

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    It appears that talks of recession are passť (thank goodness for that). If production plans of Sajid Nadiadwala are any indication, Bollywood can well heave a sigh of relief. The man is all set to announce not less than three films together, a first at least for him, with confirmed reports of him having finalised the likes of Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan for his next three mega crore ventures. When this indeed materialises, it would be the first instance of top superstars being signed in one go by an independent production house.

    This is not all as the directors chosen to do the job also come with good credentials as far as making commercial cinema is concerned. While Siddharth Anand would be at the helm of affairs for the Saif Ali Khan starrer, Sajid Khan would be working with Akshay, Riteish Deshmukh, Arjun Rampal and Boman Irani again for the sequel to Housefull (yes, you heard it right)! There are also talks of a big director coming on board for Salman Khan's Kick.

    Says an industry observer, "This is unprecedented. Ever since recession struck in last couple of years, there has been a huge slowdown in films even being announced, let aside coming on floors. Also, even if a few announcements have been made, they have been made by corporate houses that have ventured into movie making business only in last 4-5 years. However, most of the independent filmmakers have been lying low with not more than one or at maximum two films being on floors."

    It was this time duration which Sajid made one film at a time and got reasonable success with Kambakkht Ishq (2009) and a huge money spinner in Housefull (2010), both starring Akshay Kumar. However, now as he is ready for his another biggie Anjaana Anjaani with Ranbir Kapoor (who has gained superstar status for himself in the interim period), the news about him making three major films is poised to cause a stir in the industry.

    "It is obvious that post the correction period, things have started settling down in Bollywood", continues the observer, "Filmmakers have been in a wait and watch zone. In fact a top production house like Yash Raj Films too has been going quite slow (till some time back they had at least 3 or 4 releases per year). Dharma Productions is still churning out films though majority of other high profile production houses are just lying low. While it earlier seemed that due to no new films being commissioned, 2011 would be barren, the news of Sajid bringing three films on floors is not just a huge surprise but also a reason to rejoice."

    What one looks forward to now is which of the leading ladies in Bollywood would be getting ready to rejoice. While for Siddharth Anand's film with Saif, there is a toss up between Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra; Housefull sequel could be featuring Deepika Padukone again. Also, Sonakshi Sinha - now a hot favourite with Salman after Dabangg - could well find herself paired opposite him in Kick.

    Though Sajid is non-committal about the leading ladies, he does confirm that the films with Akshay, Salman and Saif are definitely going on floors. "Yes, we have finalised plans for the three films. There would be further information shared about the films soon."

    When asked the obvious question about his production house going big and launching as many as three biggies (the combined budget of which is said to be in the vicinity of 150 crores or even more) together, Sajid says, "There wasn't anything planned. In fact even the budget that you mention isn't finalised. As for me coming up with three films together, it just happened. If you look in the past, I didn't make a film for four years even though Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega (2000) was a hit. Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004) was the next release after that. It all depends upon how something good comes to me and excites me. These films did excite so I decided to get them rolling."

    Well, with one more film with Imtiaz Ali in the pipeline, it seems like Sajid Nadiadwala is indeed going through one 'exciting' phase. Pun intended.
    ...being a human...



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