That Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan are clashing on the big screen this Independence Day is something which we all are aware of, by now. Akshay’s Toilet Ek Prem Katha will take on SRK’s yet-to-be-titled film with Anushka Sharma.
Amidst the reports of this clash, a statement by Shah Rukh Khan that he wants to make a film with Akshay Kumar has grabbed everyone’s eyeballs.
In an interview to a leading daily, when SRK was asked to comment about the trend of studio collaborations in Bollywood, he said, “The studio model in India isn’t really a studio model. Studio models are Yash Raj or Dharma. They are actualy studios. Yash Raj even distributes their own films, Dharma doesn’t as yet, but they do have affiliates who do it for them. So with due respect to all the studios that claim to be studios, they are all wonderful people and have helped me. Whether it’s a Chennai Express or other films, they are just leasing filmmakers, but they are not a part of the creative aspect.”
He elaborates, “Mr Walt Disney was a part of everything and that’s why he created the studio model. And he made the film, and he sold the film and he borrowed the money or lost the money while the whole studio is backing him up. Similarly, there’s Warner Brothers or Columbia Pictures there. Here, in India, I think they came as distributors who are giving you money, taking your film and releasing it. They really don’t put any inputs in creating the content. They just hire the actors. I am not trying to create a studio, I just want to make it easy for my filmmakers. We can market it with our own people, and convince other people. It’s our film at the end of the day. I’m trying to do that. Who knows? I may fail completely and next year, when you meet me, I would be on the roads hoping somebody signs me up (laughs) or if it does well, it’s not to create a studio model or become a Warner Brothers, or Yash Raj or Dharma. I don’t think I’m as good as them. Visual effects are my core, so I will try and make more films around that.”
Interestingly, Khan was asked to comment on the collaboration between Salman Khan and Karan Johar for a film they are making with Akshay Kumar, to which he said, “It should be collaborative. And it should have been done a long time back. But it’s very good that Karan and Salman are making a film with Akshay. I wanted to do that. But the story and all didn’t work out. I’m sure he is really open to it. I think whenever there is an opportunity, as producers, we should make this happen.”
He concludes, “Firstly, we should get this correct. They should not be taken as individuals, as Karan or Salman. It’s Dharma and SKF. They are different identities, they are film producers. It’s about the company, not about individuals. So, two companies have come together to make a film with a big movie star. Similarly, we at Red Chillies do it too. Maybe, Dharma and Red Chillies, or YRF. Filmmaking should be collaborative. The more collaboration there is, in music, filmmaking, storytelling — you will have better films. Tintin was made by Steven Spielberg, who loved it and he produced it and let Peter Jackson — who owned it — direct it. It’s something Steven Spielberg always wanted to make and direct, but he found that Peter Jackson has it, he said, ‘Let’s collaborate’ and make it together.”
Well, now doesn’t that sound exciting?!