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'Azhar' makers play it safe, drop teaser launch plan during IPL final

The first teaser of the Mohammed Azharuddin biopic was supposed to be launched tomorrow during the final of IPL 8 in Kolkata. However, the makers were forced to change their plans at the last minute due to security concerns. Emraan Hashmi will essay the role of the flamboyant ex-cricket captain in the Anthony D’Souza-directed film.

Mohammed Azharuddin (left) with Emraan Hashmi
Mohammed Azharuddin (left) with Emraan Hashmi

A source in the production team says, “There couldn’t have been a more apt timing and venue for us to launch the teaser. However, we have now been told that there are certain technical issues due to which we won’t be going to Kolkata and instead, launch the teaser in a studio here during one of the pre-match shows”.

Industry insiders suggest there were issues with obtaining permission, a possible reason for changing the venue. However, the source maintains all permissions were in place as co-producers MSM Motion Pictures are attached to a channel which broadcasts the matches.

Tanveer Bookwala, CCO of Balaji Motion Pictures which joined hands with MSM for the biopic, says, “Azhar has an incredible fan base in Kolkata. Now combine that with Emraan’s fan following and the response to this idea would have been overwhelming to say the least. In the midst of this, security did become a big concern and we had to pull out. No teaser launches are allowed in the matches. They (the team) will now be in the studio during the IPL finale.”

In her text mesage, Balaji chief Ekta Kapoor says, “Allowed, but safety hazard.”

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