In the quicksands of Bollywood, does holding on to a professional friendship help an actor's career?
Director Mohit Suri's plan of making a film with another production house is being seen as him parting ways with the Bhatt camp.
After all, his uncles and filmmakers, Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt gave him his first break with Zeher and continued to back him till his last release, Murder 2. While this is not the first instance of a director opting out after making it big under his mentor producer's guidance, there are several filmmakers who will work with select actors. Just as there are directors who may never work with certain other actors, as in turn they owe their allegiance to those who helped them make it big.
Here's looking at some jodis that seem unlikely to break up:
Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar
It's commonly known that Karan got into direction at the behest of SRK, for whom he was designing outfits until he assisted Aditya Chopra in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge.
So when it was time for KJo to plunge into direction, it was a natural conclusion that SRK would be cast as the hero. Kajol, the 'dulhaniya' too bonded with the then AD and was the natural choice to play Anjali in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
After the film's stupendous success, every time Karan planned a film, it was obvious that SRK and Kajol would lead the cast. Although KJo is making his next, Student Of The Year with newcomers, buzz is that SRK, who's also co-producing it, will make a special appearance along with Kajol. Earlier this year, when the actor-filmmaker was in London for the outdoor of RA.One, he ensured that KJo direct a couple of his romantic scenes with Kareena Kapoor.
Ajay Devgn and Rohit Shetty
For someone who started as an assistant director in a film that marked the debut of Ajay Devgn, Rohit Shetty couldn't think of another actor to cast as Major in his debut, Zameen. Although the film didn't do as well as expected, the director found his flair for comedy, courtesy a Neeraj Vora script. Not many had high hopes for Golmaal helmed by an action director and featuring a major action star.
Besides, the July 11, 2006 Mumbai train blasts had cast a dark shadow over the film's opening too. Fortunately, defying all odds, the film raked in over Rs 70 crore. Shetty and Ajay then teamed up for Sunday, Golmaal Returns, All The Best, Golmaal 3 and Singham. Only Sunday failed to strike gold at the box-office, while Golmaal 3 and Singham crossed the Rs 100 crore mark.
The duo is currently filming Ajay's production, Bol Bachchan with Abhishek Bachchan in Jaipur. Strangely, when Rohit tried making a film with another actor, things didn't work out. However, the director is now venturing to make Chennai Express with Ajay's arch rival, Shah Rukh Khan.
Initially, a corporate house signed him to remake Angoor with SRK, but it seems they're not happy with the way the script is shaping up. So the director has come up with an action-comedy to make with SRK. Till Shetty returns with another Golmaal film in 2013, Ajay is keeping himself busy with films with Vishal Bhardwaj, Ashwini Dheer and surprise, surprise, Sajid Khan.
Akshay Kumar and Sajid Khan, Sajid Nadiadwala
When Sajid Khan turned director with Heyy Babyy, his first choice for the lead was Akshay Kumar. Never mind if his sister Farah Khan was an SRK loyalist then. The director's choice was backed by producer Sajid Nadiadwala, who had worked with the actor before, in Waqt Hamara Hai and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
Needless to say, Akki was the first choice for Khan's second directorial venture, Housefull, also produced by Nadiadwala. And when Khan's assistant Sabir Khan turned director with Kambakhht Ishq, Akki stepped in to play the leading man in rom-com, produced by none other than Nadiadwala.
It's another thing that in the interim, things soured between Nadiadwala and Salman Khan after the debacle of Jaan-e-mann that was directed by Farah's hubby, Shirish Kunder.
Though the producer joined hands with Salman again for Kick, the project was in limbo because the actor was asking for a hike in his fee. After some friendly discussions, Nadiadwala reportedly agreed and now the remake of the south Indian film is scheduled to take off next April.
Emraan Hashmi and Mahesh-Mukesh Bhatt
Even though Emraan Hashmi is related to the Bhatt brothers, and they've had hits with other actors before him, things changed after his first hit, Murder that also starred Mallika Sherwat.
Since his debut in Footpath, in which he played second fiddle to a then-more-established Aftab Shivdasani, Hashmi has consistently featured in Bhatt productions. Even when they signed on other actors like Shiney Ahuja, Emraan was reassured of good scope for his role. Though some of their movies like Aawarapan, Tum Mile, Crook tanked, Jannat, Raaz 2, Murder 2 made up for their losses.
It's not that Emraan didn't flourish with other filmmakers (Milan Luthria's Once Upon a Time In Mumbaai) or Bhatts didn't make hits with other actors (Wah Lamhe with Shiney Ahuja), but those were few and far in between.
The most notable successes achieved by both the actor and the Bhatts were in tandem. And while differences may arise, they will be quickly buried. So with Emran's cousin, the director Mohit Suri opting out of mentors Bhatts' camp, the exit won't be allowed to affect their future productions.
After all, the show must go on. While these are some of the jodis that are not likely to go kaput, some combinations are still far from being made. Here's looking at what you'll probably never see in Bollywood...
Ajay Devgn in a Karan Johar directed film: The two almost came to working together for a movie that the filmmaker was planning, also starring SRK. But apparently, Devgn was not convinced about his character. Instead, he played the mysterious Kaali in KJo prot �g �, Soham Shah's jungle adventure, Kaal.
Salman Khan under the aegis of Karan Johar: Primarily because he's SRK's enemy No 1 at present. So while the filmmaker is friendly enough with Salman to get him on his TV talk show, it's very doubtful if he will ever talk movies with him. Never mind if Sallu played a smaller role in Karan's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the two teaming up again looks almost impossible.