The decision of Sanjay Leela Bhansali not to go ahead with Inshallah starring Salman Khan and Alia Bhatt, has sent shock waves through Bollywood as the movie was to roll with the superstar in the first week of September. But apparently, there were rumblings of discontent between the filmmaker and Salman, since the last few months, once the star had given his nod to the project and one of the causes was about Salman’s fees in the movie.
Says a trade source, “It’s a strange decision to shelve the movie as it’s already on floors. Alia Bhatt, apparently, shot for four days this month, for a song for the movie in Mehboob Studios in Mumbai. Sanjay Leela Bhansali was producing Inshallah and the movie was said to have a Rs. 150 cr budget as it was being shot in North India and many parts of USA. There have been various speculations – from the script not being complete to date issues but apparently, they had a fallout over the remuneration.”
The source adds, “Bhansali is producing the film, along with Salman Khan Films and the filmmaker wanted a continuous stretch of 120 days to complete the movie, starting from September, and with the filmmaker everyone knows, that can get extended to many more days. Salman and the filmmaker are working together after 12 years as Saawariya was their last movie together, Salman stated reasonably that he had Big Boss 13, and his other brand commitments to complete but Bhansali was adamant. Everyone including Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh are used to his style of working and give away their dates for even a year.
But Salman could not do that, so he apparently asked ₹100 crore as his fees (which included his satellite and digital rights) as compensation. In a ₹150-crore budget with ₹100 crore taken by lead actor and some more as the filmmaker’s fees, what would remain as profit? SLB felt if Salman was getting such a steep hike he deserved more too. A big financier is said to have bought rights of Inshallah for distribution just a few days ago for ₹195 crores (₹165 crores plus additonal Rs 25 crores for P&A) but yet they were not able to sort out their creative and financial disagreements. On Sunday when finally both realised that they could not work together right now, they decided to part ways, beginning with Salman’s ambiguous tweet, ‘The film with Sanjay Leela Bhansali is pushed but I will still see you all on Eid, 2020. Insha-Allah!’ Bhansali also announced through social media that he had decided not to go ahead with the movie.”
There were other creative issues too, which both could not come to terms with. The source adds, “Salman is known to have his own scripting sense, so he wanted to be involved in the process as he is usually in all his movies, and every other department including music and costumes but SLB is a fiercely individualistic and creative filmmaker who doesn’t tolerate interference at any level. His movies are huge box-office successes and he doesn’t feel the need to share his creativity with anybody. Both are temperamental, used to their own styles of working and haven’t worked together for years so while many reasons will be given for their not working together in Inshallah, only the very few, including Salman and SLB will know the real reason why… Both are disappointed because they are friends too and were looking at working with each other but the business of films is separate from friendship hence they decided it’s better to part on cordial terms now than have fights during the making of the movie.”
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is already said to have approached Shah Rukh Khan for his next. They were to produce a movie together with SRK in the lead which would be directed by a top director but now trade buzz is that SLB will be directing it himself. “It’s an intense romance called Izhaar (working title) and currently, SRK and Bhansali are working out the dates. If they do it, it will mean that both will be doing a film after 17 years. Their last film together was Devdas (2002).”
Also Read: Inshallah: Salman Khan says he remains friends with Sanjay Leela Bhansali despite shelving the film