The most-awaited films

IT’S been a damp squib of a year, not just for Bollywood but also for movie buffs who were expecting a lot of entertainment post Diwali. But the top big budget films that were scheduled to release later this year will now hit theatres only in 2009 due to reasons such as varied as clashing dates, errant producers and technical problems.

Billo Barber by Priyadarshan
The movie starring Shah Rukh Khan and Irrfan Khan was slated for release on November 9, but has now been pushed to February 2009. One of the reasons is that some portions of the film, including the songs, are still incomplete. It’s also believed that SRK postponed the release to make way for Dostana and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi being made by his friends Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra, respectively. Another reason, according to industry sources, is the poor business of Kuselan, the Tamil version of the film starring Rajnikanth. Seeing the audience response to Kuselan, Priyadarshan has decided to make some changes in his version.

Chandni Chowk To China by Nikhil Advani
Previously titled Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo and Made In China, this movie stars Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone in the lead. The film, produced by Rohan Sippy on a budget of Rs 65 crore, was scheduled to release on October 24, but has now been pushed to January 2009. Due to problems with some prints of the film, a part of the film will have to be reshot in a studio in Mumbai. Apparently, it was hard to get Akshay’s dates to re-shoot for the damaged prints.

Wanted Dead And Alive by Prabhu Deva
According to trade sources, the movie has been made on a budget of Rs 30 crore and an additional Rs 5 crore will be spent on publicity. Wanted... was scheduled for October 2, but has been postponed to next year. Some songs in the movie, starring Salman Khan and Ayesha Takia, are yet to be completed. Salman was busy with his TV show, Dus Ka Dum, and was unavailable to finish the shoot for Wanted.... Says Boney Kapoor, producer of the film, “Salman also had Yuvraaj and we didn’t want the two to get mixed up, so we decided to postpone it.”

Ghajini by AR Murugadoss
After a special screening of Ghajini, Aamir had spotted certain aspects that needed correcting and had insisted the director re-shoot. Earlier, plans were to release the film for Diwali but due to Aamir’s request, Murugadoss has planned to re-shoot a few scenes. And now, since Aamir Khan is busy shooting for 3 Idiots, it will take a month for Aamir to get back for re-shooting.

Kambakkth Ishq by Sabir Khan
Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala, Kambakkth Ishq stars Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor and some Hollywood biggies. Made on a whopping Rs 90 crore, it was due to hit the screens on December 5, but will be pushed by three months. The reason? Date problems and being unable to rope in all the stars at the same time.

Victory by Ajit Pal
The film starring Harman Baweja, playing a cricketer, and Amrita Rao, has been pushed from November 21 to early 2009. Made at a cost of Rs 25 crore, it has many cricketers playing themselves in the film. But the makers didn’t want to risk releasing it along with Dostana. The big releases at the end of the year and the nonavailability of multiplexes are also responsible for the delay.

Raaz 2 by Mahesh Bhatt
The production company and Mahesh Bhatt are confused about what the film should be called — Raaz or The Mystery Continues or Raaz II — because Mahesh Bhatt doesn’t want people to think it’s a sequel. The film stars Emraan Hashmi, Kangna Ranaut and Adhyayan Suman. And there were reports that Kangna didn’t have dates as she was busy with Fashion.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Dilli 6
The movie was slated for late 2008 or early 2009. But the Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor and Kunal Kapoor starrer will hit screens in February 2009. The reason, according to unit insiders, is Bachchans’ long ‘Unforgettable Tour’. Also, there were certain corrections made in the script after the last schedule ended, which will take time to be filmed as Abhishek is still busy with his world tour.

Aashayein by Nagesh Kukunoor
This John Abraham-starrer is waiting for Dostana to get out of the way. An industry source says Kukunoor wasn’t happy with the end product.

“We can’t say the audience didn’t see any good films this year. Yes, it was not very exciting, but there was variety. With Welcome to Sajjanpur, Race, Jannat and Jodhaa Akbar and now Dostana, Fashion and Golmaal Returns, there have been films worth watching. In any case, it’s not such a long wait for the new lot of releases, which is early 2009 itself.”

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