News Round-Up: Anupam Kher Works Out, Shahrukh Has No Shoes, and Disney Leaves India

There is a really funky little human interest story, and a really important industry story.  But most of all, a really NO WAY!!!!! story about Anupam Kher.

I saw this on Salman’s twitter, and I wasn’t sure I was understanding it correctly, but then Zee news confirmed!  This is, in fact, Anupam Kher!!!

I don’t know about you, but this makes me want to go to the gym much more than just seeing some photo of Hrithik or Katrina.  I know they look good, they always look good, they were born looking better than I ever could. But if Anupam Kher can get this kind of gym body, than anyone can!


Second, this is just one of those tiny human interest stories that amuse me if I think about them too much.  A shoemaker in Peshawar was arrested because he bragged that he was making deer skin sandals for Shahrukh Khan (ordered by Shahrukh’s distant cousin who still lives there as a gift), and using deer skin for sandals is illegal.  That’s not much of a story, really.  But what amuses me is, first, picturing the gossip spreading like fire through out Peshawar, “Did you hear?  Jahangir Khan has been asked to make sandals for Shahrukh Khan!!!”

Image result for rockwell gossip picture

(Like this, but ending with a cop finding out and someone getting arrested, instead of the original gossiper getting yelled at)

And, secondly, picturing Shahrukh, sitting in Prague, barefoot, going “where are my sandals?”  Having to be carried to and from the set every day, his poor feet getting more and more damaged, all of filming held up, because Jahangir Khan is in jail and can’t finish the shoes!

Image result for shahrukh barefoot

(Like this, but in Prague and with Anushka)


And third, the actual really really big news!  Disney is pulling out of their Indian investments!!!!  This is HUGE!!!  Disney/UTV has quickly been growing into one of the biggest studios in India.  UTV used to be just a distributor, but then Disney bought into them and started as silent investors helping UTV grow from being distributors to producers, to actively putting the Disney brand on films like Khoobsurat and ABCD2.  And now, poof!  They are gone!  Fitoor and Mohenjo Daro chased them away.

I feel bad for Vidya Balan, because now her husband is out of a job.  Although, maybe that means she will start working more to support the family?  And, with any luck, Aditya Roy Kapoor’s OK Kanmani remake will hit it big, and he can chip in a little too.

He better, because this has got to be partly his fault!!!  If Siddharth cast someone besides Aditya in Fitoor, or gave a little less money to the movie starring his little brother, and maybe Disney WOULDN’T decide that the Indian market is too hard to predict and pull out, putting prime wage earner Sanjay out of a job!

It’s not just Fitoor,Mohenjo Daro failed too and Jagga Jasoos is crawling towards completion and eating up more money everyday.  But they had similar blindspots.  Disney/UTV was just looking at the personalities on paper, not considering the personal elements.  Aditya is an up and coming actor, Ranbir and Katrina are top stars, and Hrithik is a top top star.  Hire some good directors to tell them all what to do, throw money at it, and call it a day.

But that’s because Disney didn’t realize how very personal the Indian film industry has always been, it’s not enough to just put together the right people, you have to consider their relationships as well.  Siddharth cast Aditya in Fitoor and no one controlled his brotherly urges to throw more money and promotion on the film.  Jagga Jasoos got greenlit with a real life couple at the center, always a TERRIBLE IDEA.

Mohenjo Daro was the worst of the lot, and it is the exact same mistake American studios have been making for years.  It got greenlit because it had a big name star in it which, on paper, means it will be a hit in India.  But that only works if it is actually a really good role for the star, and if the promotions and everything else are in line.  Same mistake Warner Bros made with Akshay and Chandni Chowk to China, and Sony made with Salman and Sawaariya.  You can’t just give money to the Star and tell him to obey the director, and then walk away.  If anything, you should do it the other way around!  I mean, come on, you think Rustom is a hit because first time director Tinu Suresh Desai planned it all out?  No!  It’s because Akshay twisted and turned the story into an Akshay hit, and then personally coordinated all the promotions.

Anyway, Disney has learned its lesson and is leaving town.  At least, in terms of trying to make hit films for India, in India.  The other part of this is, they have discovered that there is no need to try to replicate the Indian hit formula, since their Hollywood made films The Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War have been doing so well in the Indian market.  Good for you, Disney!  Stick with what you know, and don’t try to do more than you can handle!  Crafting a Hindi film industry hit is not something you can figure out from a formula.

9 thoughts on “News Round-Up: Anupam Kher Works Out, Shahrukh Has No Shoes, and Disney Leaves India

  1. I’m really confused with your comments on the Disney news. First, who is the “Sanjay” you keep referring to? From the context, it seems like you are talking about Aditya Roy Kapoor’s brother and Vidya Balan’s husband, but his name is Siddharth Roy Kapoor. So who’s Sanjay?

    And, you say Sony made the same mistake with Salman and Saawariya. Don’t you mean Ranbir? Granted it was his debut, and so he had no track record, but Salman was in the movie (final version) for about ten minutes! So how can the fate of Saawariya or whatever financial returns Sony experienced be put down to Salman?

    Anyway, it’s not only Hindi movies. Disney also produced some turkeys in South Indian films, where they tried to just graft a generic Disney film onto an Indian cast, and that didn’t work. I’m actually glad to see them go. I hope Fox Star follows them soon.


    • Fixed, I meant Siddharth and put in the wrong name!

      I did mean Salman and Sony. I’m not putting the final fate down to Salman, but I am putting the thinking of “well, Bhansali had a hit film a few years back, and I’m told that Salman is a major star, we’ll just put them together and wash our hands of it” on behalf of Sony down as the cause of the failure. Again, this is just my interpretation, you can feel free to offer your own, but to me it fits the pattern of the outside studios picking a top star name out of a hat, and not realizing that you need to also provide a role that fits them, get them heavily involved in promotion, and make sure that if you are selling it as a “Salman Khan film”, he is actually in the movie for more than 10 minutes! Like I said, the same thing happened with Chandni Chowk and Mohenjo Daro, they hired these stars and then just didn’t know what to do with them.


  2. About Aditya, Faridoon from Bollywood Hungama had the most back handed compliment that he tweeted during the Dream Team concerts:

    “Aditya Roy Kapur’s final words #DreamTeamHungama #NewJersey.Aditya’s massive popularity was a revelation!!!” as a caption to a short video of Aditya.

    Adiya’s popularity a revelation! HA!!


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