News Round-Up: Dharma Turns Down Nepotism, Kangana is Still Working, So is Abhishek, Jacqueline Finally Gets a Leading Role, and Anil and Sonam are Co-Starring

Lots of little announcements today!  A few that I have many thoughts about, and a few I don’t care about that much but are still worth repeating.

Dharma Films vs. Salman Khan

First, the one I am most interested in!  Bollywoodhungama is trying to sell it as a Karan Johar-Salman Khan feud, I don’t care about that part.  The basic details seem to be that Dharma was considering launching Salman’s brother-in-law Aayush, and Salman was considering starring in the Karan-Akshay war movie, and now neither of these things are happening.

Forget the whole “Karan hates Salman and vice versa!” part of it, I don’t care about that.  No, what I find interesting is that Karan turned Aayush down.  He’s being accused of being the flag waver for nepotism, and this would be a classic example.  Someone only cast because of their connections.  The news report is trying to come up with some mystery as to why Karan turned him down, but what if he just wasn’t any good?

My point about nepotism is that it isn’t just the name and connections, it’s growing up in the industry, training on film sets since childhood, and so on and so on.  And Aayush doesn’t have any of that.  And isn’t very handsome and possibly isn’t very talented (I don’t remember hearing anything about him acting before he stumbled into being Salman’s brother-in-law).

Image result for aayush sharma

(He’s fine, I just haven’t seen anything so far that makes him glow in front of the camera)

So, Karan was unofficially offered a deal if he gave this guy a chance, and he turned him down because he just isn’t good enough for a Dharma film, no matter who he is related to.  At least, that’s how I see it.


Short story, Kangana’s Career

She’s still making the Jhansi Ki Rani film, although the article points out it is 2/3rds finished which means they can hardly drop her.  She was supposed to start her own directorial debut next, but that has been indefinitely postponed and now she is supposed to be making a thriller helmed by a debutant director and opposite an as-yet-unnamed “top star”.

So, this could be exactly what it sounds like, Kangana is taking her time to prepare for her first directing film with an elaborate and complex concept, and in the meantime signing a quick interesting thriller.  Or it could be that funding and support is falling apart for her directing film and they are scrambling to find something to make it look like she is still working by spreading rumors of a film that might-maybe happen.


Abhishek’s Career

We all puzzled over his last minute drop out of JP Dutta’s film, and the cover story that it was because he was waiting for a solo lead film.  And now he has all kinds of solo lead films!  Priyadarshan just signed him, and Prabhu Deva already has.  WHAT IS HAPPENING????

I just can’t make sense of him preparing for the Dutta film for a year and not signing anything else, then dropping out with 48 hours notice because he suddenly decided he should look for solo hero roles.  And now suddenly going on a signing binge.  Oh, and running off to the Maldives as soon as the Dutta story broke, and signing all this stuff remotely.

Image result for abhishek maldives

It still feels like something came up last minute, something embarrassing and shocking and secret, which made him drop out of  the Dutta film.  And now to save face, they are calling in every favor and signing everything.


Aayush is Working

Aayush Sharma, Salman’s brother-in-law, is now being launched by an SK Films movie. A remake of Jatt and Juliet, by a first time director, and possibly opposite a first time actress.  All of these things are bad signs.  No other film house willing to co-produce, no established director willing to work with him, no original script that would work for him, and worried about him being over-shadowed by an established actress.

Also a bad sign for the end product!  A first time star, no matter how talented, really needs an experienced director to shepherd them through the process (Salman and Aamir being the exceptions).  Jatt and Juliet was a fun idea, but really worked primarily because of Diljit and his chemistry with Neeru Bajwa.  And the sort of casual ramshackle attitude from the Punjabi industry.  Plus, the only people who would be excited about this remake, or interested in this plot, are the Punjabi audiences who have already seen the original.


Jacqueline Finally Gets a Solo Hero Part

Jacqueline, after being the bright spart in everything from Sajid Khan comedies to Dharma films dramas, is FINALLY getting a central role.  She has supposedly been signed as the lead in a remake of The Girl on the Train.  Which didn’t get very good reviews in the original version, but the plot sounds really interesting.  And completely driven by the central female character.  So, yay!!!!  Jacqueline finally gets a juicy central role, which I am pretty sure she will be able to handle.


Anil Kapoor and Sonam are Co-starring

Film is titled Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.  Produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, directed by Shelly Chopra (Vidhu’s sister).  Not much else is known, but there are some interesting things here.  First, that Sonam decided to wait this long before co-starring with her father, until they could be legitimate co-stars, not just a father helping out his daughter.  She doesn’t have the most amazing career in the industry, but she can definitely hold her own.  Second that, once again, she is supporting another woman.  A female director, very rare in the Hindi industry.  And third, that this is an excellent choice of a film to keep Sonam’s career healthy in between her home productions.  VVC films are always classy and respectable, and often massive hits.


Also, it gives us all the gift of having this song running through our heads!

17 thoughts on “News Round-Up: Dharma Turns Down Nepotism, Kangana is Still Working, So is Abhishek, Jacqueline Finally Gets a Leading Role, and Anil and Sonam are Co-Starring

  1. “Salman was considering starring in the Karan-Akshay war movie”
    I don’t remember seeing anything about Salman starring in the movie but Salman was supposed to co-produce the movie.

    I don’t even remember seeing anything about Ayush Sharma being an assistant director on any of Salman’s films or anything like that.


    • I have this vague memory that the original announcement included Salman, but you are right, it could have been just as a producer.

      Yes with Aayush Sharma!!!! I don’t think he has a film background in his family, so no informal training. And he’s been on filmsets and stuff, we’ve seen pictures, but I don’t remember hearing about him seriously working on them. Even the “nepotism” kids, they have to spend a year or so on serious work preparing before they get their first film.

      On Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 12:22 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Yeah, the movie was originally announced as a Karan-Salman co-production starring Akshay.

        Even Arjun Kapoor, who is considered to be a Salman mentee, was an assistant director before as far as I remember.


        • I think arjun was a bit of a funny case because he was planning to be a director, not a star, until salman took him on. But at the same time, even when he wanted to be a director, he was working for a bunch of different production houses to train for tgst, not just expecting his dad to hand him a film. And he spent a long time preparing for his launch film and earned something outside the family, with Yash Raj. Very different from this! I don’t even remember hearing about aayush taking acting classes.


          • Oh yes, absolutely. Very different from this. Even Sooraj Pancholi did acting classes and stuff I think.


          • Aayush Sharma, pretty much from the day their honeymoon ended, has been shadowing Salman on his various film sets and location shoots, usually accompanied by his wife. I can remember photos of them during the filming of Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Sultan, PRDP, and I guess Tubelight? Basically everything since Bajrangi. I can’t remember what film Salman did before that, or if Aayush was there during its filming.

            Now, whether all that shadowing taught him anything (besides how to be a superstar), I don’t know.


  2. LOL I was waiting for new episode of Abishek’s soap opera.
    In my opinion renuncing a movie with familiar director just to sign other movies few days after is an oppoiste of “saving face” . I know he wants to say “Nothing happened, everything is ok and I can work” but for me it’s more “I’m unprofesional and unreliable”.

    And how bad this Aayush must be if nobody wants him, and everybody signs Shradha Kapoor?


    • I will be very curious how many of these movies actually pan out. Signing so many in a few days time is a bad idea anyway, because he can’t film simultaneously, so some of these films are going to get kicked out a year or so. Even under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t expect them all to happen, and with the way this story has played out, I wonder if it might be just an understanding that they will give the announcement to help out the Bachchans, but the film itself may just be put on the shelf and never happen.

      Well, to be fair to Shraddha, she is playing heroines, which is a lot less pressure. But still! You are right, there have been plenty of other not terribly talented people who got their first chance thanks to their connections. Aayush has a pretty prime connection, and he STILL can’t get a break.

      On Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 3:45 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. I love your description of the “casual ramshackle attitude from the Punjabi film industry.” In the wake of Diljit’s performance in Udta Punjab I tried watching a few. Gave it up. And I’m pretty indulgent when it comes to silliness or poor production quality in Hindi films. But those Punjabi films were just too hard to watch! Only Diljit was worth the time. Much prefer his music to these movies.


    • It took me a couple tries to finish Jatt & Juliet, but it was enjoyable once I just gave in to the vibe of it. But yeah, definitely different from Hindi. And I just don’t see an overlap in audience!

      On Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 5:57 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • I have the same with punjabi movies – sometimes they have holes in the plot so big that I’m wondering how it’s possible to release it. I mean – do people don’t care or they are just used to things like that?


  4. I wonder what happened to Abhishek, he wasn’t a bad actor by any means. He was good when he did movies that didn’t have trappings of a commercial movie – like Bluffmaster, Yuva, Bunty Aur bubli etc. I thought he was the best thing about Dostana too. I think it was Raavan that did him in. It was a role that proved too much for him – he tried portraying it in a crazy, edgy way that turned out more comical. And after that, it’s all been down south.


    • That’s interesting. I could see that. It’s a part that seemed so close to what he could do well, either the serious slightly manic drama he pulled off in his intense characters in Guru and Yuva, or the wacky comedy he did so well in Dostana. But instead it was the worst of both and it kind of ruined him, his comedy looked too serious and his serious looked comic.

      I think he was wonderful in Happy New Year, possibly the best part of the film. But somehow he didn’t seem to embrace that, more comic small roles in large pictures. I was hoping he would, that would be an interesting turn for his career, small comic parts and a real life kind of “family spokesman” role crossed with sports promoter. But I guess he didn’t want to go that way!


  5. Pingback: New Youtube Video! Nepotism, Aayush Sharma, Salman Khan, and Karan Johar | dontcallitbollywood

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