News Round-Up: Harshwardhan Rane is In a Movie That Won’t Happen, Kangana Tries to Start Feuds That Won’t Happen, Tiger 3 WILL Happen, and Shahrukh’s PR is Happening

Nothing super duper interesting here, just stories that are continuations of other stories, or else rumors of things that won’t happen. But it’s Monday, we need things to talk about!

Harshwardhan Rane is in a Superhero Thing That Won’t Happen

I am only reporting this because I know Harsh has his fans here. The movie itself, I don’t care and I don’t think it is happening. The plan is a 7 film franchise on 7 heroes from the Puranas, the Chiranjeevis. That sounds very expensive, elaborate, and long. And also like something someone would announce as Avengers is making money in theaters in order to try to ride that media wave. (story here)

The producers are people I’ve never heard of, and this big of a concept needs lots and lots of cash, which means backers will want proven producers. Or else a proven star, and Harsh (much though we love him) is not that. This is why there is “nepotism” and a star system. Karan took a chance on 2 unproven actresses in SOTY2 because he has the money and power to make it happen. You need one powerful producer to really believe in you, otherwise it is difficult to get your foot in the door, no one wants to fund an unknown. And when you make Brahmastra, you cast Ranbir and Alia because it is a super expense 3 film series and you need something the backers are going to believe in. Casting a solid star in the lead lets you take risks everywhere else. Risking an unknown in the lead means you can’t take risks anywhere else.

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He’s cute, but that doesn’t get you superhero money

Kangana and the Media Try to Start Feuds That Won’t Happen

On the one hand, Kangana/Rangoli lashed out at Richa Chaddha on twitter after Richa said in an interview that she prefers to speak to people face to face when she has problems (read as a comment on her current co-star Kangana). On the other hand, Ranbir Kapoor gave a rambling roundabout quote that could be seen as addressing Kangana’s insults from two months ago about how he isn’t political enough. The media is trying to make Ranbir’s quote a direct response to Kangana, but I don’t really see it. Richa’s original comment is a little more Kangana-directed, but still takes no names and is circumspect. Kangana/Rangoli’s tweets are direct and vicious. And of course, the media is trying to treat these all equally as though it is two prize fighters duking it out, instead of one mentally unstable person hitting and hitting innocent bystanders (story here and here)

I am guessing that Ranbir is going to continue to avoid discussion of Kangana, because he can. And Richa is as well. The only unknown is if filming will continue on their joint film. I wonder, based on the very little bit I know about the pathology of stalkers and borderline personality sufferers, if Kangana presents herself to those she knows as unaware and unable to control Rangoli’s twitter? If she will show up on set and tell Richa “so sorry about what my sister said, what to do, hope that didn’t hurt you”? It sounds similar to other stories of women who send anonymous letters and then comfort the victim who receives them. Oh, and for an example of the kind of language used about her co-worker, here is the worst tweet:

Tiger 3 Might Happen

I don’t know what to make of this story. The story being reported is that the Tiger 3 movie is being fast tracked into production partly because Salman is worried about Kat and wants to give her a hit. But, who is spreading this story? It kind of makes me like Salman better as a person, and feel sorry for Kat. But it doesn’t make me want to see Tiger 3 particularly, or respect either of them as artists. So if it is coming from either of their teams, it’s kind of a “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” issue. On the other hand, if it is coming from a camp that is trying to tear down either of them, it doesn’t work well either. Because it makes me feel nice things for both of them. I suppose it could actually be a true story that came up naturally, but it feels so much like a PR plant I can’t help looking for who planted it (story here).

Could it be a Bharat story, in a weird way? Enforcing the tight friendship between Ali Abbas Zafar, Salman, and Katrina by a soft announcement of their next film? Is “Salman is worried about Kat” going to make it easier for us to buy their romance in Bharat? This whole story just puzzles me!!!!! I really hope there is a second part that comes out and makes it all clear.

Image result for katrina salman

Shahrukh’s PR Team is ON IT

Oh, this is nice, seeing people do their work well. Similar to his honorary degree announcements a few months back, now we have nice lockstep announcements of him appearing on Letterman. The message is that even the invitation is an honor, putting him in elite company. Similar to his other international honors. There’s no push to get people to watch the episode, or tie it in to a movie promotion, or anything. It’s just about the international honor of being asked (story here)

The Bollywoodhungama article also mentioned that Shahrukh is currently producing stuff for Netflix. Which makes me wonder if maybe Netflix is taking point on promoting this, along with (no doubt) helping to make it happen. It’s great cross-promotional synergy, get people watching Letterman to like Shahrukh and check out alllllll his films that are on Netflix. Get people who like Shahrukh to check out the Letterman show, also on Netflix. And if Shahrukh’s interview happens to mention the upcoming stuff his company is producing for Netflix not starring him, that’s fine too!

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40 thoughts on “News Round-Up: Harshwardhan Rane is In a Movie That Won’t Happen, Kangana Tries to Start Feuds That Won’t Happen, Tiger 3 WILL Happen, and Shahrukh’s PR is Happening

  1. I am compulsively refreshing my email inbox in case I get tickets to the Letterman taping, even though of course it is a huge long shot, and even though getting a ticket still doesn’t guarantee getting in. I might have a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Still healthier than me, obsessively refreshing my email to see if you got a ticket and commented about it. At least you are actually on the front lines, I am just waiting to see if someone else gets something cool.

      Oh, and if you do get tickets, make sure to make date to see Shahrukh again at Mannat at the end of June. Speaking of, I forgot to mention that I went to Mannat when Shahrukh was gone too, he was in the hospital getting his eyes fixed. It was still wonderful, and there were 3-4 people hanging out in front anyway, in a clear “hey, wanna walk over and look at Mannat?” kind of way.

      On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 10:59 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Aww, thank you! I’ll be sure to let you know. And thanks for the encouragement to go to Mannat even if Shah Rukh isn’t in town.

        Hey, I received the cuddly Shah Rukh with whiskey poster! Thank you! Until I decide where to hang it, it is staying for safety in my copy of “25 Years of a Life”, which I got for Christmas this year!

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        • Glad you got it! And I think the obvious answer is to get it professionally framed and put it over the fireplace int he living room. A conversation piece!

          On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 11:09 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

  2. For what it’s worth, I don’t think this is his PR. There were only a very small number of articles and half of them had wrong information – some of them seem to think David still does the Late Show. Others even had some wrong guests listed. Others ended with lines about Zero being a flop. It was the usual bad BW media writing with no research.

    If a press release had gone out, there would have been a lot more coverage and it would have been more accurate. This is just them picking up news by stalking fan clubs. Some of the dumb articles end with a question mark as if it’s just rumor and they’re not sure about it.

    I’m sure they’ll do some PR but they will probably do it later on when it’s filmed already or when it’s time for it to come out on Netflix.

    Btw, SRK has already landed at Newark Airport this morning. Surprisingly, he came quite early. I thought he wouldn’t get there until Thursday. Wonder what else he’s doing with his time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First thing that comes to mind is checking out NYU for Suhana. Or maybe he is just too old to bounce back from jetlag as fast as he used to and wants to be at his best. I know I can’t bounce back from jetlag as fast as I used to, and I’m only 33!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha, that’s true. It could be but I think SRK is used to it. He regularly does it. Last year he flew to NY with his family for less than 24 hours, flew back and hosted an awards show as soon as he landed. During Zero filming, he flew to London for for 3 hours to see Suhana’s play and then flew back and went right to the set. Just recently he flew back from China, wrote a speech on the plane and immediately landed and roasted critics at their show. He doesn’t function like normal people.

        I find the NYU thing unlikely too because he has already visited a few months ago and met up with the dean and everything. The dean (and her mother) are apparently fans and she even made him record a video for her mother saying hello to her. She put it on her instagram account.

        Letterman’s show has a field segment they always do. For Malala, he went to Oxford and followed her around as she showed the school to new students. For Tiny Fey, he went to her favorite restaurant in Chicago (but she wasn’t with him). They recorded an episode with Kanye a few months ago and in his case, we went to “Sunday Service” that Kanye has been holding lately for the last year. It would be kind of stupid to not go to India for it but I doubt that would happen. It’s too far and Dave is probably too old to want to go through all that. But anything in the US won’t hold the same impact.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Maybe Shahrukh is going to Edison New Jersey for the field segment!!!!! That would be awesome. Or, more likely, he is meeting up with NY friends and maybe scoping out apartments for Suhana.

          What was Tina Fey’s favorite restaurant in Chicago? Never mind, looked it up, I think I’ve been there twice. Good cheese fries.

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          • Edison would be hilarious. They could probably walk around NYC too, I guess. David would probably be amused by SRK’s permanent bodyguard.

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    • I had the same feeling. But there is just no way this 7 film special effects epic series will be happening.

      On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 12:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I’m tired of Salman. What is with the constant stupid sequels? Dabang 3, Race 3, Tiger 3, Kick 3 — please give it a rest! If not sequels, then it’s remakes. When is the last time he’s done a normal movie that’s not a sequel or remake? Sometimes it feels like they’re all extensions of the same masala movie being made again and again.

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  4. The Letterman show DID go to India. A field producer on the show (a friend of a friend but everyone in the story is mega reliable) isn’t working on it because she couldn’t go to India. She has young children, I guess and couldn’t leave. I too am wondering why he’s here so early. Maybe he’s trying the take things slower route, see the sights or maybe he has a lot of meetings set up for projects that are still a twinkle in his eye.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow! Thanks for the info. How was Letterman able to slip in and out of India without any notice? Or has he not come yet but some producers and crew have come to set things up?

      As for SRK, he’s been to NY a thousand times so I don’t think he cares about seeing the sights. Not only that, his son just came back from USC just a day or two ago after finishing his semester. From what I can tell off his fan club instagram, he went to his Alibaug house on Saturday morning and spend the weekend there with his family. He came back Sunday evening, attended his make-up artist Raj’s sister’s wedding and then flew out to NY right after that.

      But maybe we’re overthinking it. He must have some meetings set up, especially with the Netflix people. It’s easier for them to meet him if he’s in the country.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Picking only one favorite Madhuri film is like picking one favorite Fawad Khan look – impossible! So here are some of my choices based on my mood. When I need a pick me up: Hum Apke Hai Kaun. Her best feminist role: Lajja. Her best comic timing: Khel and Dil Tera Ashique. Question for you is did you see the Kabir Singh trailer? What did you think? Also, speaking of Fawad Khan, did you see this picture: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1969334/4-fawad-khan-well-next-superhero/? Now, I really want him to star in a superhero movie or Pakistani series.

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    • The Kabir Singh trailer was interesting. I think it might even be slightly better than the original, at least I liked Kiara and Shahid together more. But I don’t know if I will want to see it after I’ve already seen Arjun Reddy, it looks like there isn’t going to be anything new besides the casting.

      On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 2:41 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. In my German forum there is a member who (since years) almost exclusivly posts a negative view on everything SRK-related. She honestly guesses that ShahRukh went this ‘early’ to NYC because he is nervous of being on the Letterman show…*sigh*
    He definitely will have other things to do than worrying for three days about the show…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t understand that kind of anti-fandom. I have people I dislike, but I usually try to avoid talking about them, not seek out conversations.

      On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 5:50 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • When is he ever nervous about anything? He’s one of the most confident public persons I’ve ever come across. Maybe he just fakes it well but that mask never really slips so it’s probably just who he is.

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  7. I’m going to be contrary today, chalk it up to Monday grumpiness. Is it really an international honor to be on Letterman’s show, now that he’s been demoted from broadcast to streaming? Following a #MeToo reckoning no less. Admittedly I haven’t seen the Netflix show, I’d gone off him a bit by the time his Late Show run ended, but the audience must be very much smaller than in his heyday. Guessing that this is absolutely a Netflix cross-promo thing, as you said, otherwise it seems like an odd place and timing for an SRK appearance.

    Also, continuing to be contrary, after Ironman the superhero movie model has been to cast beautiful but not very well known actors in their starring roles, for reasons this article explores in depth. (Love this article for giving male movie stars the disposable object treatment usually reserved for female movie stars.)

    For the comic book movies, they’re really banking on the brand and the genre to bring in the audience more than a big star. The Puranas would perhaps not have the same audience draw, not being so connected with pop culture and an established action movie franchise?

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    • I’m with you there regarding Letterman. That’s partly why I never thought it was SRK’s pr spreading these articles. They wouldn’t have framed it like it was some huge honor for him. Please, Netflix should be thankful he’s doing it because he will give a huge boost to the show’s viewership. Since his deal with Netflix, he also tweets about some low-viewed specials like Hannah Gadsby’s stand-up. Apart from his own millions of followers, his tweet generates thousands of news articles. You could not ask for better advertising. It’s the same reason a joint interview was set up with Brad Pitt and SRK when he was promoting War Machine for Netflix. Indian actors have the kind of reach HW actors can only dream of. Their following can never match the type of fanaticism that exists for BW actors. The fan bases are different in terms of how much love they have and how much they’re willing to listen to them.
      With that said, I always like his non-Indian interviews but it’s because we can hear him talk without having to deal with crap questions about 300 crore movies or how his friendship is with the rest of the Khans and other eye-roll worthy stuff. I’d rather hear for the 10th time about why BW has songs and music over the tragic questions the Indian media asks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emily, first thanks for the article-link.

        Second: I also just see the Letterman interview-show as a give-and-take between ShahRukh and Netflix…there is an interest for both (including Letterman himself) and ShahRukh has enough time at hand. (Btw, I still think that ShahRukh hasn’t a ‘regular’ PR – either he is contacted or he uses a certain agency for a certain purpose.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s exactly how his PR used to be earlier but I’m guessing he has hired someone recently. There’s a subtle difference but it’s there.
          Let me give you one situation that I think his new PR has maneuvered brilliantly. Everyone knows Modi had tweeted to celebrities asking for get-out-the-vote support 2-3 months ago. (Before SRK hired a PR IMO) Everyone responded immediately except SRK. A long time passed (more than a month) and then suddenly one day SRK replied to Modi saying he was late but voters should not be late like him and made an entire video song he uploaded to encourage people. I think the BJP/Modi themselves were so shocked that Modi replied to SRK thanking him, which he didn’t do for any other celebrity. But that’s not the brilliant part. Within minutes of this, the Congress party put up a video clip of SRK talking about love and diversity and against hatred. And the craziest thing happened. Both sides started claiming him as theirs.
          This could have gone so wrong. SRK is a lightening rod and generates a huge amount of hatred from the BJP and their supporters. His reply to Modi and the voting video cut that off to the point that they were celebrating that he is theirs. That could be seen as capitulation but Congress within minutes comes up with a clip with SRK basically endorsing their diversity and inclusion policies. My guess is that it was provided to them through SRK’s people even though it was technically from an old documentary. I find it hard to believe that they somehow managed to dig up the perfect clip within minutes all on their own. So what happened is that the BJP kept retweeting and praising the voting video and claiming SRK is on their side, Congress’ video also went viral and he got tons of praise for his intelligence and way of looking at the world. Both sides fought with each other – Congress supporters claimed SRK is just endorsing voting, not BJP, but he believes in their policies. BJP claimed he directly tagged Modi so he is really on their side and Congress is trying to misrepresent his words by spreading old videos. In this all, SRK not only escaped scot free but he got praised by both sides and everyone was happy with him. He didn’t have to give up his principles either.
          This is extremely good work whoever is behind it. These are people who know what they’re doing and strategizing correctly. Reshma Shetty looks like a joke compared to this especially when you see how much she screwed up with Akshay. She has ruined his reputation. All that woman knows how to do is keep planting donation articles. Then there’s Ranveer Singh’s PR whose strategy is to shout day and night relentlessly to keep him in the news and spread lies to connect his name to bigger stars by hook or crook.
          Maybe this should have gone in the old PR post. I’d love Margaret’s take on it.
          I think these days Karan Johar needs some help too!

          Liked by 1 person

          • As I said, I don’t discuss politics.

            But I will respond to your Karan ending! I think you are absolutely right, and Karan needs exactly this kind of PR. He’s become such a celebrity, that people have forgotten his history as an artist and a businessman. He needs someone working for him who is pushing the “Karan meets with Amazon bigwigs” and “Karan’s films honored at international film fest” kind of stories.

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          • Love this story, thank you for sharing it here for those of who don’t learn about these things.

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      • Well, it’s still an honor. Just a very specific one. Letterman doesn’t have a huge viewership, but he has a huge roladex, and he is an interesting intelligent person. If he chooses Shahrukh to be on his show, it means a interesting intelligent person has chosen him out of all the people in the world. I’d actually find it less of an honor if it was Letterman being forced to do it for viewership. But I don’t think that is the case, even if Netflix played matchmaker I think Letterman would still say “no” unless he was legitimately interested.

        And like you, I am super excited for an in depth non-Indian interview! Even if Netflix played matchmaker, I assume that is why Shahrukh agreed from his side.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree with you too! Letterman wouldn’t have interviewed him if he didn’t want to. This show is basically a passion project for him that he came out of retirement to do. The whole point is that he gets to do what he wants without interference. That’s why they’ve removed the portions that he was bored of – no more band or multiple interviews or funny monologue. I’ve seen some episodes (not all) and it’s really not a laugh-a-minute show either. If people go in expecting full on comedy, they’re not going to get it.

          It’s beneficial for both sides. Letterman will get a higher viewership and maybe those folks will stick around and watch other episodes also. And SRK gets to talk outside the muck of the Indian media and put his points across. For him, it’s a great way to remain above the fray in BW, whether he talks to Chinese channels or to an American host. It’s helps him keep himself separated from his peers. The bonus is that it’s going to frustrate the Indian media and they deserve nothing better. (BWHungama just put up an article about a fallout between Anand Rai and SRK over the “debacle” of Zero. Months later, they’re still cashing in on daily fake Zero articles.)

          Liked by 1 person

    • I still think it’s an honor, just because it is a Netflix show. As I mentioned in some other comment, Letterman has creative freedom now and can do whatever he wants, and he is picking Shahrukh. But yeah, it’s not like it has nearly the audience or reach of his traditional show. On the other hand, instead of people switching channels back and forth and at the most getting a ten minute interview, he is going to get a dedicated audience that will listen to him for 50 minutes. So maybe that’s more valuable, even if it is smaller. Not for someone else necessarily, but for Shahrukh, because we know he can nail the long interview.

      The Puranas totally work as a draw, but I don’t know if they are a good mix with superheroes. Like, Bahubali is based on the Mahabharat, right? And that worked. But it was set in a kind of Puranic world, it wasn’t just the one central character with powers. I just don’t know if it would work removed from everything else. Although I would love for Harsh to be turned into pretty pretty man meat for us!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually I doubt today’s late night shows really have a lot of reach. So many people have abandoned live TV watching that the numbers they get are also very small. People might watch clips online later but that is self-selected. You only click on the videos you want to watch so there’s no chance you’re going to be introduced to someone new like you might have been by pure chance 20 years ago.
        The self-selection aspect applies to Letterman’s Netflix show too but he only interviews 1 guest per month and 6 in total for the whole season unlike a regular late night show which would interview around 40 people per month. Even the most dedicated viewers are not going to keep up with 40 interviews per month on youtube.

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        • My two 16 year-olds, my 20 year old and I all know about My Next Guest … that’s a fairly significant age range. Live viewing is so 5 years ago! The smart business tabulates ALL viewing. I think BW needs to be doing the same. Shifted viewing means your movie/show/whatever can’t be declare a “flop” 3 days after release. We just don’t consume content like that any more. My family sees movies in the theater without me because sometimes I’m too exhausted to go, and I try to avoid big screen action because it can trigger seizures. But you bet your ass I’m buying and watching the minute it’s available for my significantly smaller screen with far superior volume control. Count me, too!

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          • Right now, the shifted viewing counts have a different business model than the box office ones. Before a movie even releases in theaters, the satellite rights are sold (and increasingly also the streaming, Prime or Netflix is listed as a “partner” in the opening credits). So far as the producers are concerned, the sign of a films popularity/profitability is in the amount of money that is received for that sale, which is unrelated to the ultimate success of the film. The high profile “flops” of recent years have all turned a tidy profit for the producers based on the satellite sales. So long as Shahrukh, Salman, Aamir, Akshay, Ajay, and the rest of them can keep up those big sales, then they are considered still powerful. No one is tracking the actual viewership numbers when the thing finally releases on broadcast. Well, no one in the fan clubs and stuff, I am sure the TV channels are. And the high amounts they are still willing to pay shows that these films do well on satellite.

            Streaming is a different thing in India, Internet coverage is much lighter than in the West, and even if internet is available to you, data costs are higher. You are less likely to stream than to download when you have free internet available and watch later. Amazon and Netflix are duking it out for a very specific audience, the ones who can afford a monthly streaming subscription and monthly data plans. Satellite broadcasts are where the really big audience is. Which is probably more than you needed to know, but I find it interesting!

            On Wed, May 15, 2019 at 12:06 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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            Liked by 1 person

  8. LOVED this stream of posts! Wish I didn’t have to be showered, dressed and in my car by 8:30 or I’d comment on each one. For now, all I can say is, “…pretty man meat.” Lovely analogy! I’m using it, with a footnote, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yaaaay! That’s fun. I wonder if the SRK episode will be the grand finale since it is filming so late, or if they do all the research and location shooting first and then all the interviews take place last minute?

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      • No idea but the opener or finale doesn’t really have the same effect anymore since all the episodes come out on the same date. I’m sure people will watch whichever episode excites them first.

        Kanye’s episode was shot in January so it’s been many months. Letterman attended Kanye’s Sunday Service for the field segment on Sunday and taped the show the day after on Monday. None of the other names have leaked out. SRK’s must be the last one being filmed since it’s so close to the date. I’m still wondering about the field segment now that we know there is very little time until the airdate.

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        • And we were wrong about him flying into NY early. Only his manager Pooja got there early which is odd since she’s usually always with him. He just left now. There are pics of him at the airport and he just tweeted also.

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