Finally, some interesting news stories! I’ve been checking for days, and there hasn’t been anything that I consider juicy (no, rumors of possible conflict, and discussion of something someone said that might be offensive are not juicy). But today, lots of actual industrial news! So happy!
Arjun Reddy Remake, Director Versus Producer
This is fascinating!!!! And a sign that, yes, the film industry is still very messy and small and personality based. Sandeep Reddy Vanga, the writer/director/producer of Arjun Reddy, will not be directing the remake. For a really interesting reason!
As he explains, he had no idea the remake rights were even sold until he saw the announcement. And, it sounds like, he wasn’t clear that the didn’t have the right to sell them himself, but now realizes that was the case. His co-producer, who came in late to help fund the film, ended up with the rights because:
He came to me with an emotional plea, wanting me to put his father’s name in the credits as a producer. At that time I was thinking only of somehow releasing the film on time. I had put everything into this film. When we couldn’t find a producer for the film my family and I put out own money in to produce Arjun Reddy. However at the last minute I signed a document as per my associate’s desire.
Yep, this is the Indian film industry as I have learned about it! It’s not all logical and corporate and so on. It’s people being so committed to their dream project that they put everything into it. And legal decisions made based on emotional pleas.
And it’s still emotional now! The reason Vanga isn’t directing the remake isn’t because he doesn’t want to or legally can’t or something stupid like that. It’s because he promised the role to Shahid Kapoor and now feels he can’t work with anyone else, it wouldn’t be a right thing to do to Shahid. And I have to say, Shahid is BRILLIANT casting. That Kaminey roughness, the Rangoon sense of hidden emotional distress, perfect! I’m sorry we won’t get to see that version.
So, again, emotional and so on. The whole thing, Vanga starting by figuring out who he wants to work with in the remake and then building a lengthy relationship with his star, and finally this awkward “break-up” moment which makes him feel unfaithful to even consider another star.
And then the other part of it! The official people who bought the remake rights are Cine1, the Mickey Virus people. But Vanga says the lead in their version is definitely definitely going to be Arjun Kapoor. And that Boney flew down to meet him and beg him to direct it!!!! So either Cine1 is a cover and this is really a Boney production, or Boney is a super super involved father. Or, more likely, both. Boney is big on the southern remake rights, and I could see him jumping on this movie in particular because it is perfect for his son.
Oh, and the punchline to the article, which is the same place I have to end: Vanga won’t even consider maybe directing Arjun in the part, unless Arjun loses 20 pounds.
(Gotta say, I agree. Arjun is cuddly, that’s not a bad thing, but he can’t play a strung out drug addict looking like this)
Karan Johar in Trouble with the Law!
Because there was a Paan ad in one of the shows he produces. Which broke the tobacco laws. Is this seriously possible? That an ad can slip through in that way? In America it’s illegal to have tobacco ads on TV, and so they are never on TV. Like, the companies wouldn’t even try, the ad companies wouldn’t make the ads, there would be sooooooooooooo many steps along the way that just wouldn’t happen before the ad got on TV.
But, I’m not an expert on Indian law, maybe it is confusing, or there are loopholes people don’t fully understand, or something. Or maybe it is like those buildings in illegal zones where they just go ahead and build them and assume it will work out and no one will notice.
I am an expert (sort of) on Karan Johar! And him being picked out of all the producers and everyone else involved both for the FIR with the police, and the headline of this news story, that is business as usual. He’s a soft target, he’s the one who is always picked out. And he can handle it, he will get his lawyers together and so on and make this go away.
Sanju Delay Explained (sort of): it’s Madhuri
You ready for the explanation of why Sanju got delayed this last time? Or the sort of explanation? The leaks from the production seem to be taking a scattershot approach, giving every reason possible in order to hide the real one.
First, it’s running behind schedule. Second, Hirani isn’t happy with the footage already shot. Third, they are rewriting it. Fourth, they can’t decide between Sanju and Dutt for the title. Fifth, MADHURI. Or, as the production source puts it:
There is particular debate over the inclusion of the women he dated since some of them are now married and have moved on in life,
So, it’s a mess is what I am getting. I’ve been there. Not often, but sometimes. I get all the way into a blog post, it’s not quite working, I move paragraphs around, I rewrite the beginning, then I end up dumping 2/3rds of it and changing the title and starting from scratch.
But, WHY is it a mess? I have three theories. First, Sanjay. The story is just too BIG. Trying to turn it into a powerful film narrative is too hard, figuring out what to include and what not to include and so on. Is it a father son story? A drug recovery story? A mother son story? A romance? Like my blog posts, Hirani had a script and shot footage, then realized his big point was something else entirely and he has to dump almost everything and start over.
(Do you build the story around this moment? Or something else?)
Second, Ranbir. I am just getting such deja vu from Jagga Jasoos with this! What is it about Ranbir that forces reshoots? Is his footage that hit and miss? Sometimes he is just so bad you have to reshoot? Or is it that sometimes he is so good, you want to start over and get that in every take?
And third, Madhuri!!!!! And in general the pitfalls of a biopic. This is the the first major film biopic, the first time they are having to deal with the problem of telling a real story about real people, real people who you know and work with. How do you handle that? Because it’s not just Sanjay’s story, it’s Madhuri’s and Nargis’ and Sunil Dutt and Gaurav Kumar and on and on and on. You have to be fair to all these people, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because you know them, you see them at parties, your kids play together, and ultimately you care about them as people. How do you balance that with caring about your movie?
(Do you build the movie around this moment? Can you?)