Salman-Sanju, Anil-Sajid locked in bitter title wars
Meena Iyer (BOMBAY TIMES; September 8, 2012)
‘What’s in a name?’ said Shakespeare — implying that a rose, even if it is called by any other name, will still smell as sweet. Well, Bollywood doesn’t subscribe to this view. Time and again two or more filmmakers/actors have been locked in bitter title battles. Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan are reportedly in a silent war because Salman’s next film is titled Sher Khan and Sanju’s next is called Sher.
A source confirms, “Sallu is upset with Ashtavinayak and Sanju because they have called their film Sher knowing very well that Salman has registered Sher Khan for his banner a long, long time ago. The titles are very close and quite naturally Sallu is feeling let-down.’’
On the face of it, Sanju and Sallu are very cordial and even share a cuppa whenever their paths cross like it did on the sets of Son Of Sardaar. However, you cannot deny the undercurrents between these two actors. Even music composer Himesh Reshammiya had to reportedly walk out of Sher because he owes allegiance first to ‘bhai’ (Salman) and ony then to the rest of the industry.
Two other heavyweights who are currently warring are Anil Kapoor and Sajid Nadiadwala. Anil’s producer-beti Rhea has registered Herogiri as her title, while Sajid has registered Heropanti for his film in which he introduces Tiger Shroff. Very little difference, haan? Anil is candid enough to say, “Yes I have conveyed my displeasure to Sajid and he has promised to look into it.’’
In fact, titles and similar script ideas have often driven a wedge between friends. Anil and Anupam Kher fell out with each other when Anil decided to make Gandhi My Father with Akshaye Khanna and Anupam took on the role of the protagonist in Jahnu Barua’s Maine Gandhi ko Nahin Mara. Today Anil and Anupam are back to being close; or at least their wives Sunita and Kirron Kher are part of the same hens’ clique. But in the period between 2005 and 2007, these two actors avoided each other like the plague.
Rani Mukerji and her Black director Sanjay Leela Bhansali ended their mutual admiration for each other when they fell out over the title Hadippa. Hadippa was originally registered by SLB. When Rani decided to star in Dil Bole Hadippa!, SLB was hurt. Things came to a head for best friends Rajkumar Santoshi and Sunny Deol when both decided to make films, almost simultaneously, on freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. Raj called his film The Legend of Bhagat Singh. It flopped at the box office and won a National Award for the producers. Sunny’s film 23 March 1931—Shaheed in which Bobby played Bhagat Singh was a dud and it put the Deols in the red for the next five years.
Like we said, there is a lot in a name…anyone listening?
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