News Round-Up Part 2: Kapoor Studios and Sare Jahan Se Acche Casting

More news! This is what happens when I ignore everything and have a life for two days/do a deep dive into Indian film criticism. I get so far behind on news posts that I have to put up multiple so we can keep the conversations from crossing streams.

Yet Another Rumored Casting for Sare Jahan Se Acche

This movie is either cursed with odd casting challenges, or just has a very good PR team that is making up stories out of wholeclothe. First, “everyone” knew that Aamir has signed on and then dropped out and suggest Shahrukh. Then “everyone” knew that Shahrukh was planning on making it. And now “everyone” knows that Shahrukh has changed his mind and Ranbir is seriously considering it but may not take the role. (story here)

I’ve just got a bad feeling about this film no matter what. If the script actually has been seriously considered and then passed by all these people, then there must be something seriously wrong with it. And if they are just making up these stories out of whole clothe (increasingly likely feeling to me since no one has ever officially announced doing the movie), then that means they don’t have much faith in the movie attracting attention on its own.

Oh, but it is interesting that for either a made up story, or an actual attempt to cast a big name, the next name on the list is Ranbir after Aamir and Shahrukh pass. I guess he still has that Kapoor pull!

Image result for ranbir aamir shahrukh
Top of the heap. Literally.

RK Studios Museum?

The Film and Television Producers Guild of India sent a formal letter to the developers who purchased RK Studios, and send a copy of the letter to the press as well, requesting one small corner be set aside for a Raj Kapoor museum, open to the public. (story here)

This really is sad and a sign of how little power/money/influence the film industry truly has. The Kapoor family was out of money, despite Raj Kapoor making the most successful films in the history of India. Film gives you the money to make your kids “comfortable”, but not support generation after generation in luxury. And year after year of renting out space in a film studio will never make as much money as selling the land to a developer. And finally, the Indian Film and Directors association may be full of successful directors and producers, but they don’t have the money or power to buy a few square feet of studio lot to make a museum. All they can do is send a humble letter to their wealthy overlords:

We extend our heartiest congratulations to you for acquiring the iconic RK Studios. The devastating fire in September 2017 gutted the studio, which had been built 70 years ago by the legendary Raj Kapoor. The Showman’s name spells magic and reminds one of the cinematic masterpieces crafted by him… Raj Kapoor was an institution in himself, an inspiration to budding directors, a guide to media students, and a connoisseur of music. His legacy has to be protected for the future generations… It’s our humble appeal to you on behalf of the film industry and the IFTDA to spare some area from the 33,000 sq meters, for a Raj Kapoor museum, which will refresh the memories of the filmmaker and actor for the next generations. We request you to pay this tribute to the unsurpassable genius and give a solemn thought to our appeal.

Image result for rk studios

8 thoughts on “News Round-Up Part 2: Kapoor Studios and Sare Jahan Se Acche Casting

  1. Vicky and Kartik’s names were attached to this movie too, not just Ranbir. I feel like everyone is using it for some free publicity, both the moviemakers and the actors. It’s an easy way to get your name into circulation this way especially as a replacement for a big star. It shows you’ve made it or still got it. I saw an interview with the writer of the movie saying they were crushed and that it was heartbreaking when SRK dropped out. The recce was already done and SRK had gone to Moscow and St. Petersburg for it too so they were really expecting it to get off the ground.

    I highly doubt the makers want to do it with a younger actor. They neither have the pull nor the ability to throw in money to help out with the big budget like SRK could. I think it’s the main reason why SRK pulled out too. It will end up being a very expensive movie with all the space stuff without the ability to make that money back because it won’t be a mass movie. There is literally nothing in the story that will attract the average audience. They would have to film in Russia, have scenes with white people (with subtitles) because that’s how Rakesh Sharma trained and learned Russian, and all that for what? A boring mission where nothing happens and all hinging on one line said to Indira Gandhi. Even that won’t work during bhakt times as they would make it seem like it was Congress-era movie and propaganda for a political party. It would end up being another loss-making movie even if it’s well made. If they are having so much trouble casting for it, it means there is something missing for sure.


    • I could see the idea of the film attracting people, the title is so perfect and you get to play a real life Indian space hero and all of that, and then reading the script and realizing the story just doesn’t work. To do this kind of a story, you would need a really brilliant script, right? One that somehow weaves together flashbacks and present day and gives a sense of history and place and blah blah blah. Anything short of that, and you just end up with a weird boring movie.

      Versus something like Rustom where the story is basically written already, the script just has to do a halfway decent job of making it work.


  2. About RK studios, it’s also about the disharmony in the Kapoor family. They have several working actors in the family and should have been able to resurrect the studio if they really had the inclination but this happens to many business. The family gets bigger and bigger over generations and everyone gets busy with their own thing, not caring about the past.

    Art is such an ephemeral thing that not everyone would have the natural inborn skills to carry it forward. Raj Kapoor might have been great filmmaker but neither Randhir or Rishi or the other kids had the ability to make movies, let alone good ones. It’s hard to carry forward a legacy based on something so fleeting. Other businesses are steadier – you can go to college and train yourself or hire the right people to make a tech company run for instance but it’s much more difficult to do with the movie business.

    I guess that’s why you see today’s actors trying to expand into other areas like clothing lines. It’s easier to pass on to their kids. I mean SRK’s kids will definitely be a lot safer with their sports business (or other things like Kidzania) than the RCE production company.


    • I was thinking about YRF too. Aditya could have done what Raj did, focused on making movies with the actual physical studio as a sideline. But instead he stopped directing and focused on building up the infrastructure. And now he has the luxury of making whatever movie he wants (Befikre) without worrying that he will kill his studio by making a flop, or destroy his family inheritance.


      • I feel like it’s still an unstable business. Once Adi retires, it’s going to take someone who can also handle it the same way. Studios also need to be kept booked all the time to not go into the red. That can change so quickly if some corporates come in and make a new studio with state of the art tech. YRF was that at one point but it is also getting old now. The maintenance required would be so much.

        Make a couple of flops in a row and you’d be on shaky ground in other ways too. Lately, their output has decreased a lot too. They are making fewer movies and not getting the hype they used to. Dharma has taken all the attention. But who knows what their internal numbers look like.


        • I think the YRF ad film area is growing, and distribution. That seems more stable than trusting on the big brilliant hits to carry you along.


  3. Sare Jahan Se Acche… I think that ShahRukh would have kept his commitment to the movie if the reception of Zero (the movie…the trailer’s one was fabulous), but I was sure (and if I’m not wrong he also made it clear) that his collaboration would depend on Zero’s success.

    In my mind, three reasons made him decide to hold back a definite commitment: Aamir’s reason(s) to decline the offer – imo money to invest, then the (also political motivated) ‘hate’ campaigns from which his movies had suffered since some years and the similar angle to an essential part of Zero.
    In addition he would – again – have to play a much younger man which was a recurrent criticism of a part of the audience.
    I think he liked the idea but his heart wasn’t truly ‘in it’.

    I bet the RK studios had become a kind of ‘burden’ for the Kapoor clan. It’s not them who want to do a museum but the Film and Television Producers Guild…


    • Yeah, it’s not a movie idea that sells itself easily. Even the age, he was 35 which is older than a lot of the younger crowd likes to play, but too young for the older folks. 22 or 45 would be easier to cast.

      On Tue, May 7, 2019 at 1:38 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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