The decision to delay the entry of the long-completed Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer MS Dhoni – The Untold Story in theatres by four weeks has set tongues wagging. After the announcement came, the makers advanced the release date of their other long-completed project, Akira, starring Sonakshi Sinha. The Dhoni biopic, which was slated to release on September 2, was recently swapped with Akira, which was supposed to hit the marquee on September 30.
Sonaksshi Sinha and Sushant Singh Rajput
It has been a while since the two actors had a film release. Sushant’s last outing was Detective Byomkesh Bakshy while Sonakshi’s was Tevar — both in early 2015.
The juggling of Dhoni’s date is being attributed to post-production work, while Akira was suddenly brought forward. The makers may claim that it is a business decision as they could not have two of their projects releasing around the same time, but there seems to be more than meets the eye.
Says a source, “The decision to get Akira to the post first is baffling since there has been a lot of speculation about the project seeing the light of the day. Dhoni’s shoot wrapped up early this year. After that, Sushant and his Dhoni co-star, Kiara Advani, have moved on to their other commitments, Raabta and Machine, respectively. Moreover, Dhoni’s teaser was released in March during a T20 match between India and New Zealand. So, what special effects are they still working on?”
On June 20, the makers issued a statement on the biopic of cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni being postponed. In the press release, Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star Studios, said, “It was a unanimous decision to release the film on September 30, 2016. This would give the team some more time to present the film to the audiences in the best way. We, in no way, wanted to compromise on the visual experience that director Neeraj Pandey is set to create with this movie.”
Our source adds, “Early this year, there was speculation about Akira’s release even though the shoot wrapped up last year, so the decision to suddenly release Akira first and push back Dhoni is surprising. There could be another reason apart from the post-production delay behind this.”
The film’s makers remained unavailable for comment.