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SCOOP: Shabana Azmi teams up with Italy’ greatest living writer

Shabana Azmi joins other international stars to collaborate with Erri De Luca, a major Italian author, some would even say the greatest Italian writing today.

Luca has launched a new project The Decameron 2020 in which a selected group of authors from different nations have been invited to pen 1000-word long stories about the so-called virus crisis). Michael Mayer, Tony award-winning director, is working with Erri and Erri’s partner and manager, Paola Bisson, in order to turn the stories into dramatic recitations.

Shabana Azmi has recorded Prof. Tabish Khair’s story, River of No Return Speaking on this, yet one more singular honour in her super-distinguished career, Shabana says, “When I was approached for this project by Prof. Tabish Khair, I said yes immediately because I was very   touched by his story, River of No Return. I was aware of Pasolini’s film Decameron and was honoured to be part of a project conceived by the great Italian writer Erri de Luca. Decameron 2020 has an extremely impressive line up of international stars. I am glad to be part of such a distinguished lineup.”

Not for the first time in her life and career Shabana Azmi brings up the of the artiste and his/her social responsibility. She says, “In trying times like this viral crisis – I prefer to call it a human crisis, but let us leave that alone – it is the artist who must rise to the occasion and create sense out of chaos. It was a new experience to work with the Tony Award winning director Michael Myers on a virtual platform without having ever met him. It’d be inconceivable just a few months ago. But I’ve always been one for embracing new challenges.”

So is this how we will all be working henceforth? “You mean is this going to be the new normal? I hope not! I like to work with people around me not in isolation but with the future being so uncertain I’m ready to go with the flow.”

Also Read: Shabana Azmi scolds Javed Akhtar for spilling soup, latter gives an epic reply


2020-05-16 13:38:45

SCOOP: Netflix acquires Janhvi Kapoor starrer Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl and Ishaan Khatter – Ananya Pandey starrer Khaali Peeli for direct to OTT release

Since the past couple of months, theatres across the country have remained unoperational due to the Covid-19 lock down. But with the virus continuing to ravage the county, it seems like the lock down will in all likelihood extend. Meanwhile, this extension seems to be impacting the film industry and filmmakers who were eagerly awaiting the release of their films. Now we hear, with the continuation of the Covid-19 lock down, two major releases viz. the Janhvi Kapoor starrer Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl and the Ishaan Khatter – Ananya Panday starrer Khaali Peeli will see a direct release on the OTT platform Netflix.

SCOOP: Netflix acquires Janhvi Kapoor starrer Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl and Ishaan Khatter - Ananya Pandey starrer Khaali Peeli for direct to OTT release

Commenting on the same, a source close to the ventures says, “Both films are produced by Zee, and with the ongoing situation not seeming to slowdown, the production house felt it was best to develop both films for a direct release on OTT.” Quiz the source whether Zee would release both films on its own streaming service and he adds, “As of now, the streaming giant Netflix has acquired both films. So yes, both films, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl and Khaali Peeli will release on Netflix directly.”

Interestingly, Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, which is the co-producer on Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, already has a standing contract with Netflix. Quiz the source whether the mega production house played a part in selling the Janhvi Kapoor starrer to the platform and he adds, “Actually no. It was a decision taken by Zee to sell the rights of the film to Neflix for a direct OTT release.” Prod him for more details and he continues, “As you are well aware, that the lock-down period will take a while to end, and even then it will still take a few more months to get audiences to theatres. Therefore, the makers of both the films decided it was financially more viable and economic for a direct OTT release.”

While our source holds his ground about both films releasing on Netflix, an official announcement is awaited. We guess till then it is a wait and watch game.

Also Read: Janhvi Kapoor reveals she flew a helicopter herself while shooting for The Kargil Girl


2020-05-12 07:44:20

SCOOP: Amazon Prime acquires rights of Ludo and Jhund; both films to have a direct release on OTT

The Covid-19 lockdown has created a havoc for various industries, and the Indian film industry is one among them. With the pandemic not seeming to abate, filmmakers are faced with hard decisions regarding the fate of their films. After a few announcements of films being released directly on OTT platforms, we now hear that streaming giant Amazon Prime has acquired the rights of the Abhishek Bachchan and Rajkummar Rao starrer Ludo and the Amitabh Bachchan starrer Jhund.

SCOOP: Amazon Prime acquires rights of Ludo and Jhund; both films to have a direct release on OTT

Confirming the same, a source says, “Yes, Amazon has acquired rights of both films, which will now release directly on the streaming service.” Ask for details about what made the makers of Ludo and Jhund take this decision, the source continues, “Both films are T-Series productions and given the extended lock down period, the makers felt it was better to release Ludo and Jhund on the streaming service rather than wait for a theatrical release, which will take a long time.”

Further explaining filmmakers predicament these days, our source continues, “Today filmmakers are faced with a hard choice. Given the capital invested in a venture, it is their responsibility to recover as much as they can. But with theatres being shut, a major chunk of revenue has been axed. Given this situation, filmmakers are forced to search for different avenues to recover costs, and one way is with a direct release on OTT.”

While it certainly is interesting time for streaming services, an official announcement of Ludo and Jhund releasing directly on Amazon is awaited.

Also Read: Amitabh Bachchan starrer Jhund gets copyright violation notice from Hyderabad based filmmaker


2020-05-11 05:05:59

SCOOP: Tiger Shroff’s Baaghi 3 makers yet to receive Rs. 40 crores; monies stuck due to lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire country to a complete stand-still and one of the most hit industries is Bollywood. Not just have the releases been stalled, but also the shooting schedules have been indefinitely cancelled. Bollywood Hungama has exclusively learnt that producer Sajid Nadiadwala and his studio partner; Fox Star Studios are yet to receive money from their distributors for their recently released film Baaghi 3.

SCOOP Tiger Shroff's Baaghi 3 makers yet to receive Rs. 40 crores; monies stuck due to lockdown

“It is usually a three to four week clearance window, but since the national lockdown, the workings in the industry were halted, with cinema halls downing their shutters. The top four national multiplex chains – PVR, INOX, CINEPOLIS and Carnival – will transfer the money to the stakeholders once the business is back to normal,” revealed a source close to the development. An estimated amount due to from the National Multiplex Chains is approximately Rs. 15 crores, while the other plexes and single screens are liable to pay around Rs. 20 to 25 crores, total amounting to Rs 35 to 40 crores.

Hungama has also learnt that the producers too are not putting any pressure on the national multiplex chains as well as the independent sub-distributors in the interiors to clear their dues due to the situation of chronic cash crunch in the country. “It’s a long term association and the losses due to delay in payments will be made up for in the future slate of release for the studio. Sajid Nadiadwala, on other hand, has got enough revenue from satellite, digital and sale of theatrical rights to not just recover the budget, but also make profits,” the source explained.

Baaghi 3 released on March 6 and was doing just about average business at the box-office. However, owing to the complete closure of cinema halls a week after its release, the Studio Partner, Fox Star Studios, will lose money on the product. “Even without lockdown, the project was a loss making venture for Fox Star Studios due to the price of acquisition.”

Also Read: Tiger Shroff’s Baaghi 3 may not re-release in theatres; will release now on digital platform


2020-05-10 05:57:26

SCOOP: Rajkumar Hirani’s next with Shah Rukh Khan was initially a two-hero film; filmmaker had Salman in mind?

The two of the biggest superstars of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, also have an electrifying chemistry on screen. This was evident in Rakesh Roshan’s 1995 blockbuster Karan Arjun. Even in the romance saga Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, where Salman had a supporting part, the film went on another level whenever they came forward. Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam today is memorable chiefly because it starred both of them together. It’s been 18 years since they both came together, though they were sweet enough to do special appearances in each other’s films (Om Shanti Om, Tubelight and Zero). But to see them together in a two-hero flick is something that fans have been waiting for keenly. Their excitement did arise when reports emerged that Sanjay Leela Bhansali was planning to cast Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan in his next flick. But sadly, the project failed to take off.

SCOOP Rajkumar Hirani's next with Shah Rukh Khan was initially a two-hero film; filmmaker had Salman in mind

After SRK’s Zero tanked, the star took a long time in deciding his next and finally, if reports are believed, he has given his nod to blockbuster filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani. However, as per a write-up by Rajeev Masand in Open magazine, Rajkumar Hirani had initially approached SRK with a different film. The article states that Rajkumar had the concept of a two-hero film in his mind. For this project, he wanted to cast both Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. However, when he met SRK, he insisted that he’s keen on doing a solo-starrer. Hence, Rajkumar Hirani went back to the drawing board and he finally came up with an idea which was fine to both the filmmaker and the actor.

Rajkumar Hirani is writing the script with his regular colleague, Abhijat Joshi. As it is his style, Rajkumar Hirani is taking his own sweet time to write and fine-tune the script. He’s been sharing all the drafts with the superstar, who also provides his feedback and input to Rajkumar. However, an official announcement regarding this film will happen only when a fully satisfied Rajkumar Hirani locks the script. This is being done at the behest of the filmmaker and Shah Rukh Khan reportedly has no qualms in delaying the announcement.

Recently, SRK had got his fans excited when in a reply to a fan question on Twitter, he had hinted that his film with Rajkumar Hirani is indeed on.

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Also Read: Rajkumar Hirani and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to have an insightful conversation on the Heart To Heart Show


2020-05-08 11:00:36

SCOOP: Abhishek Bachchan signs Anurag Basu’s next, Rajkummar Rao already on board?


SCOOP: Abhishek Bachchan signs Anurag Basu’s next, Rajkummar Rao already on board?

Anurag Basu is touted to be making a film catering to the woes and life of urban India and sources close to this project have informed that he has signed Rajkummar Rao for the same. There is also a strong contention that Abhishek Bachchan has been signed to play one of the leads of this multi starrer. From the sound of it, the project will be a slice of life film loosely based on the concept of the 2007 release Life In A Metro. The film will be produced by T-Series.

SCOOP: Abhishek Bachchan signs Anurag Basu’s next, Rajkummar Rao already on board?

There are strong rumours that Rajkummar Rao has liked the script and is already on board. Abhishek Bachchan too seems to have given a final nod, though we await official confirmation for the same. The original 2007 starrer had an impressive cast with names ranging from Irrfan, Kangana Ranaut, Sharman Joshi, Konkona Sen Sharma to Dharmendra, Nafisa Ali, Shilpa Shetty, Shiney Ahuja and Kay Kay Menon. For now, Rajkummar and Abhishek are likely to be on board for this film. We are pretty interested to know the names of rest of the cast! We bet you are too.

It is interesting to note that both Rajkummar Rao and Abhishek Bachchan are solid actors who can pull off a content backed role with élan. Abhishek has returned to acting with Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyan and has signed yet another movie with him titled Gulab Jamun with wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Now, if he is indeed on board Life In A Metro sequel, it will be a hattrick for him.

Rajkummar, on the other hand, has had a great inning after the success of Newton. He will be seen in Stree with Shraddha Kapoor and has teamed up with Kangana Ranaut for Mental Hai Kya. He also has signed Made In China with Mouni Roy.

Also Read: CONFIRMED! Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan sign Gulab Jamun



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SCOOP: Dostana actors John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan reunite for Anees Bazmee’s Pagalpanti


SCOOP: Dostana actors John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan reunite for Anees Bazmee’s Pagalpanti

It’s raining collaborations this year and we aren’t complaining. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Anees Bazmee was going to collaborate with Ajay Devgn on a film Saade Sati with Anil Kapoor on board. But, no such confirmation came from the actors or the makers.

SCOOP: Dostana actors John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan reunite for Anees Bazmee's Pagalpanti

Well, guess what? It seems like a new set of actors have become a part of the project and they are none other than Dostana duo John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan. Not just that, the film has a new title Pagalpanti. According to sources, Anees Bazmee has signed these two actors and Kumar Mangat will be co-producing the film. The film might go on floor later this year. This collaboration with mark the reunion of Dostana duo after 10 years since their film released in 2008.

Speaking of Saade Saati now titled Pagalpanti, the earlier reports had suggested that the film revolves around the Hindu belief that the bad luck caused due to the influence of Shani aka Saturn lasts for seven and a half years. As for the leading lady, the details are yet to be revealed.

On the work front, John Abraham has had a pretty interesting year with the success of Parmanu- The Story Of Pokhran and Satyameva Jayate. He is currently shooting for Robby Grewal’s Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW). He will also begin shooting for Batla House next and post that he will begin prep for his own production which will be an action franchise.

Meanwhile, Abhishek Bachchan is returning after two years with Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan starring alongside Vicky Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu. The film releases on September 14.

Also Read: Romeo Akbar Walter: John Abraham takes RAW to Kashmir along with Jackie Shroff



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SCOOP: Tiger Shroff starrer Student of the Year 2 will feature this sport


SCOOP: Tiger Shroff starrer Student of the Year 2 will feature this sport

By now, we all know that Tiger Shroff, Tara Sutaria and Ananya Pandey will be seen in the sequel to the film Student of the Year. While the film which is being produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Production is still a long way from release, we have got to know some new details of the story. While the first film that hit screens in 2012 featured Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhorta participated in a Triathlon, this time, the makers have opted for a different sport.

SCOOP Tiger Shroff starrer Student of the Year 2 will feature this sport

If sources are to be believed then we hear that Student of the Year 2 that is being directed by Punit Malhotra will in fact see its lead cast participate in Kabaddi match. Now this is rather interesting especially since, in the recent past, quite a few big industry names have lent their names to promote the sport via the Pro Kabbadi League. But, even though this detail is intriguing, we wonder if the makers of Student of the Year 2 have come up with this concept not just to promote the sport or also to enhance in film endorsements tie ups.

Whatever be the case, we for sure are eagerly awaiting the release of the film. Starring Tiger Shroff, Tara Sutaria, and Ananya Pandey, Student of the Year 2 which is directed by Punit Malhotra is slated to release in May next year.

Also Read: Ananya Panday, Tiger Shroff and Tara Sutaria set up a love triangle for Student Of The Year 2



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SCOOP: Cast member confirms reshooting for Kangana Ranaut starrer Manikarnika


SCOOP: Cast member confirms reshooting for Kangana Ranaut starrer Manikarnika

Amidst vehement denials from the producers and the writer Vijayendra Prasad, an actor from the cast of Krrish’s Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi confirms that the ambitious Rani of Jhansi biopic is indeed been reshot.

Says the actor, “What we have shot so far is indeed very impressive. We are happy but there are some continuity lapses in the narration so more than re-shooting it is extra shooting. Also, some of the action scenes haven’t come out as well as expected. So they are doing them again.”

The reshooting, informs the actor, will take place at N.D. Studios in Karjat from the 27th of this month it will go on for 10 days.

Given the situation, one wonders if the film can be released on January 25 as per schedule.

Also Read: Kangana Ranaut takes up responsibility to complete patchwork on Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi



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SCOOP: Sonakshi Sinha to do item number in Total Dhamaal


SCOOP: Sonakshi Sinha to do item number in Total Dhamaal

Earlier this year, the first look of the film Total Dhamaal was released featuring Anil Kapoor,Madhuri Dixit, Ajay Devgn, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi and others. Well, now we hear that Sonakshi Sinha who has undergone a transformation of sorts for her next venture Happy Phirr Bhaag Jayegi will also be seen in the film. As per sources, it is learnt that Sonakshi Sinha will be seen doing an item number in the film.

SCOOP Sonakshi Sinha to do item number in Total Dhamaal

Talking about the same, a source close to the film says, “Yes Sonakshi has been roped in to do a special number in Total Dhamaal. Given her recent transformation and her new avatar, it will certainly be good to see Sonakshi in the said track.” Prod the source for more details and they reveal, “As of now not much of the special track is known, the makers of Total Dhamaal are keeping everything under wraps till it is finalized. But Sonakshi is expected to commence shooting for the special track later this month in Mumbai.”

As for the film, Total Dhamaal that is being directed by Indra Kumar will also feature Ajay Dvgn, Boman Irani and Arshad Warsi in addition to Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit. Set to be the third instalment in the Dhamaal franchise, the film is being readied for release on December 7, 2018.

Also Read: Netflix signs Sonakshi Sinha for a web series?



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