Sanjay Dutt walked free from prison on February 25 this year and Bollywood was eagerly awaiting his comeback. But, six months down the line, the actor hasn’t shot a single frame for any of his “comeback” films.
With nothing in hand currently, Dutt has instead been logging airmiles, Poland being the latest destination on his itinerary.
Even before his release from Pune’s Yerwada jail, there was talk about several filmmakers being in queue to sign Dutt and speculation over which one he would greenlight first. He chose Siddharth Anand’s action flick, but later did a rethink and opted out. The actor then decided to turn his focus to his next project, Marco Bhau, directorial debut of filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s sister, Shelly. This project, too, is taking a while to take off. Initially, it was slated to go on the floor by the end of the year. But, if the grapevine is to be believed, things will not roll before February 2017.
Says a source, “There was great excitement in the fraternity when Dutt walked free. But sadly this has not translated into film offers for the star. Currently, except for Marco Bhau, whose story and screenplay is still being worked on, he has nothing in hand except for the long-in- the-planning Munnabhai 3. But with Rajkumar Hirani busy with the biopic of Dutt starring Ranbir Kapoor, part three of Munnabhai will take time.”
As reported, ‘Why did Sanjay Dutt let go his comeback film?’ (hitlist, July 4), Dutt was unhappy after going through the final draft of Anand’s film. The plot reminded him of several Hollywood flicks; he felt it was a mish-mash of Captain Phillips (2013), The Jackal (1997) and Under Siege (1992). He did not want his comeback to be labelled a rehash of Hollywood films. Not wanting to take any chances, he moved on to Chopra’s production, Marco Bhau. Dutt, however, at that time, had maintained that Siddharth’s film was not shelved and he needed more time to prep for action-intensive scenes.
He had even undergone martial arts training for the film under the guidance of Shifu Kanishka Sharma, who specialises in commando close quarter combat. The star had been training at the gym of his Pali Hill home. But as soon as he opted out, he stopped his training programme as well. Dutt’s spokesperson says, “He is in no rush to sign films. He is keen to spend time with family and travel. And Marco Bhau was always slated to take off after December.”
Only once, so far
The only time Sanjay Dutt faced the camera since his release was for a brand endorsement in May. The shoot was held at Madh Island. He posed with each and every unit member, from the lightman and spotboys to camerapersons. The actor also bonded with the children who were part of the banian brand shoot.