Part 1: Top brass actors have their hands full with films

MUMBAI: While corporates seem to have tightened their purse strings as far as movie acquisitions are concerned, for the film production sector recession does seem like a word from the past. The fact of the matter is that top brass acting talent in the Hindi film industry has their hands full for the time being.

The crème de la crème comprising the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor et al are busy shooting for one or more movies and have some ready for release too.

While the Big B may be all set to return to the small screen as the host of Bigg Boss, the fact is that he has as many as five films lined up for release. These are: Balki’s Paa, Sujoy Ghosh’s Aladin, Leena Yadav’s Teen Patti, Shoojit Sircar’s Johnny Mastana (Shoebite) and Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann. This 60+ year old actor has been working round the clock to wrap his commitments over the last one year. At present Amitabh Bachchan is enjoying a well deserved break in Singapore, where he is helping his friend – Amar Singh recuperate from a surgery.

Coming now to Aamir Khan… his mantra has been to concentrate on one film at a time so as to give his best to the character he portrays. In his latest blog reply to a fan, the actor admits – "For a fairly successful lead actor, I have probably done the least number of films in the history of Indian cinema." However, this time round two films – 3 Idiots and Dhobi Ghaat – have been keeping him busy. While he has finished shooting for Raj Kumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots, the shooting for Dhobi Ghat directed by wife Kiran Rao began earlier this year.

Shah Rukh Khan is currently concentrating on completing the shoot for Karan Johar’s My Name Is Khan, which will release early next year. Ever since work on My Name is Khan started began in December last year, the actor has not taken on any other film project. However, he has one release this year, which is Viveck Vaswani produced Dulha Mil Gaya slated to release by year end. Khan shot for portions of the film this year as it got delayed due to the shoulder injury he sustained while shooting. He already has film projects like Don 2 along with his home production Ra 1 in his kitty for next year.

Salman Khan has three films up for back to back release this year – Prabhudeva directed Wanted, Prem Soni’s Main Aurr Mrs Khanna and Vipul Shah’s London Dreams. The actor is also busy with his home production – Veer, which is likely to release sometime next year. At the same time, the actor is also shooting for his television show Dus Ka Dum for Sony.

Akshay Kumar may have already had three film releases this year (Chandni Chowk To China, 8×10 Tasveer and Kambakkht Ishq), but the actor is all set to scorch on screens twice over before the end of this year. Anthony D’Souza directed Blue is up for a Diwali release, whereas Venus’ De Dhana Dhan will release on 27 November. Additionally, the Khiladi is also currently shooting for Sajid Khan’s second film – Housefull. This actor too has made his presence felt on television as the second season of Khatron Ke Khiladi, which has him as the host, was flagged off on Colors a couple of days back.

One saw the release of Saif Ali Khan starrer Love Aaj Kal release earlier this year, post which the actor has been busy shooting for Dharma Productions’ Kurbaan directed by Rensil D’Silva. He is also in the midst of pre-production for the next film under his Illuminati Films banner titled Agent Vinod. Work is likely to begin on the film in October.

Coming to Hrithik Roshan, while on the one hand, he is gearing up for the release of the much-hyped Kites that is up for release early next year, the actor has also begun shooting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish opposite Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. This year we saw Hrithik only in a special appearance in Luck By Chance.

Ajay Devgan has as many as six movies lined up. His home production All The Best releases on Diwali, which will be followed by London Dreams, Toonpur Ka Superhero, Teen Patti, Balaji Motion Pictures’ Once Upon A Time In Mumbai and Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti.

Sanjay Dutt hasn’t found any ‘Luck’ this year, but the actor will be seen in Blue, All The Best and Aladin. He has completed shooting for Rahul Dholakia’s Lamhaa and also has Chatur Singh Two Star in his kitty.

Shahid Kapur who gave us a double whammy in Kaminey this year, is now ready for the release of Dil Bole Hadippa opposite Rani Mukerji. Additionally, he has also completed shooting for Ken Ghosh’s Chance Pe Dance opposite Genelia D’Souza. The actor has not taken on any new projects as of now.

While Abhishek Bachchan had an average release with Delhi 6 early in the year, he is now shooting for Mani Ratnam’s Raavana. Once he completes that film, Abhishek will begin shooting for two films – one with Rohan Sippy and the second with Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar’s banner Excel Entertainment. While Sippy’s film is likely to commence in October, Excel’s film, which is tentatively titled Crooked will begin in January. Additionally, Abhishek also has director R Balki’s Paa with dad Amitabh Bachchan lined up for a year end release.

This year Ranbir Kapoor is aiming for Rocket Singh Salesman of the Year! Although the actor is involved in several films like Prakash Jha’s Rajniti (he will start shooting immediately after Rocket Singh is complete) and Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani, Ranbir has given exclusive time for Shimit Amin’s Rocket Singh Salesman of the Year as he had to grow a beard. Ranbir will start his fourth film of the year, which is Siddharth Anand’s Anjaana Anjaani, from October end in the US under Sajid Nadiadwala’s banner opposite Priyanka Chopra.

Like uncle, like nephew seems to stand true for Imran Khan. The youngest Khan too likes to work on one film at a time. Imran is busy working on Delhi Belly, which is directed by Abhinay Deo. Moreover, since his film 7 Days in Paris with Sanjay Gadhvi got shelved, the actor will now start work on Puneet Malhotra’s I Hate Luv Storys for Dharma Productions, come October.

While the hunks have their hands full, the divas are not far behind.

Stay tuned for Part 2.