When can we expect an announcement on ‘Mogul’ with Aamir Khan?
Aamir Khan has already announced the film and the fact that he’s doing the film. It’s a film based on my father, Gulshan Kumar’s life and I am in no hurry to get it made. This is not a business proposal and I have said this time and again, this film will get made. But we are waiting for the right time to get started. Aamir is busy with the completion and release of ‘Laal Singh Chadha’, which got delayed due to the pandemic. But now that things are coming back to normal, we are aiming to start the film by 2023. ‘Mogul’ is not just a film but a dream that I have to realize for my father. I want people to know what kind of a person he was and what did he do for society. The film will definitely happen because our actor is locked, the director and the entire crew is in place, too.
You’ve recently signed the Sri Lankan singer Yohani, who had gone viral last year with the song Manike Mage Hithe. What are your plans to promote and produce her music?
Our company has always nurtured and taken ahead new talents, be it Adnan Sami, Himesh Reshammiya, Honey Singh, and today we’re creating wonderful stuff with artists like Jubin Nautiyal. Yohani has very good potential, she has a fresh and young voice and I think she will definitely go places. We are totally geared up to back her.
What can we expect from Ranbir Kapoor in ‘Animal’? Will he be as brazen and intense as Shahid Kapoor in ‘Kabir Singh’?
Absolutely. We will see a different avatar of Ranbir. First of all, ‘Animal’ is not some creature film. Animal refers to a person’s personality traits, as you said, we can expect to see a violent Ranbir Kapoor. I can’t tell you more about the film. But it has Anil Kapoor, too and we are starting the film in April. We are also completing Ranbir’s film with Luv Ranjan, which will hopefully get over by May or June. ‘Adipurush’ is in post-production and likewise, ‘Shehzada’ and ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ with Kartik Aryan are also in the offing.
Parineeti Chopra backed out from ‘Animal’ because she has signed a film with Imtiaz Ali. Have you signed Rashmika Mandanna in her place?
I will get back to you about ‘Animal’ at a later stage.
While South films create a lot of buzz, sometimes big titles like ‘Radhe Shyam’ fail to connect with the Hindi audience. What are your thoughts on that?
What do you have to say about the success of Baahubali, Pushpa, RRR or the craze for the upcoming KGF? I don’t think audiences look at these films as South or a North films. Audiences in India are watching Spanish and Korean films and shows. I think it’s all about good content and people will go to cinemas to watch what they like. It’s good that people are consuming content regardless of the language.
This happens with Hindi films, too. Not every film that we make can succeed. Probably, the success rate of films might not even be 10 percent. So it’s the same with the South films, there are many regional films which will release on a Pan-India level, but some of them will do well and others wont. Its part of the big giant wheel of entertainment, you never know when and how it moves. Some films work down South, others work pan-India, some work on OTT. Every film finds its audience.
We’ve seen critically acclaimed films being declared tax free in several states of late. But Nagraj Manjule’s Jhund wasn’t made tax free, despite having a socially relevant subject and being well-received, too. Why do you think that happened?
I don’t have an answer for why Jhund was not declared tax-free.
Tax free or not, a lot of people were able to relate to the emotions and characters of Jhund.
Absolutely, we have got a lot of love for the film. Every director and producer we showed it to, loved the film. I have never gotten so much appreciation for a film. People have bowed down and told me that this is a feather in my cap. That’s a great feeling.