MUMBAI: Sources close to Amitabh Bachchan are not amused by the incessant reports that the mega-star has ‘slowed down’ due to ill health, the latest being Shirish Kunder who claims his “dream project” with Bachchan called The Common Man is uncommonly delayed because of Big B’s ill-health.
“Not true!” Says a source close to Big B, “Amitji is fine. He’s working around the clock. All these stories about his ill-health being the cause for the delay for his film projects are nothing but excuses to deflect attention from the real reason for the delay.”
Says the source, “Whether it is Shirish Kunder’s The Common Man, Sudhir Mishra’s Mehrunissa, Shoojit Sircar’s Garden House or Mahesh Manjrekar’s Natsamrat Amitji has given the nod and is awaiting the final script. The problems lie elsewhere, and please don’t blame it on the actor who is certainly not convalescing at home, as is being made out to be. This false impression being created to conceal the real problems plaguing troubled projects, is just not acceptable to Amitji. He has never delayed, nor ever will delay a project on health grounds.”
The source adds that the twin surgeries in April were not emergency activities at all.
“The surgeries were planned carefully. They had been put off until Amitji was free of all pending commitments. He went under the knife after completing Department and before starting work on the new season of Kaun Banega Crorepati. It isn’t his responsibility if film planned projects are delayed for various reasons.”
While Kunder’s and Mishra’s projects seem to be delayed again, it seems the ever-dependable R Balki who has fashioned two of Big B’s most challenging roles in recent years (Cheeni Kum and Paa) would be going ahead with Big B’s first post-surgery project.
Balki confirms he is ready with the script and Amitabh Bachchan has approved. While he is tightlipped about other details we can safely tell you it’s an autumnal love story about two aging people who discover when they feel they’re too old for it.
The film goes on the floors at the end of the year.
Says a source, “Balki wanted to wait until his wife’s film English Vinglish was ready. Now that it’s done he’s going ahead with his film with the Big B full-throttle.
As for the other projects that haven’t taken off yet, Big B refrains from comment. However he does react to Shirish Kunder’s project not taking off.
Says Bachchan, “We met on a few occasions and he discussed the idea with me. I have approved it. It is now up to him when he wishes to start the film. Once we are on set only then can I say that I am ‘doing’ his film.”