When it comes to money and ego, not even relationships and friendships can stand against them, so said someone cynical. We would scoff at this, but the phrase is far from a lie. Take a look at our Bollywood film industry for example, where friendships are made, broken and mended within an instant. The latest gossip in the field is that not all is well between two of the long-standing friends in the industry, Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar. And the reason for that is their upcoming movies, Zero and Simmba respectively. Shah Rukh Khan Thanks Salman Khan For Being a Part of Zero Song Issaqbaazi and Fans Cannot Get Over Their Friendship!
SRK and Karan Johar's friendship had begun when the former was the lead in Aditya Chopra's Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, and the latter worked in the movie as an AD (while also having a small role in there). Karan Johar had admitted in his biography, An Unsuitable Boy, that it was Shah Rukh Khan who had told his father that he would act in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai if KJo directed the film. In one of his earlier interviews, KJo had even said that every film he directs would have Shah Rukh Khan in it.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai came in 1998, and now it's 20 years. Recently, they had a reunion of the cast and crew for the celebrations, which brought SRK and KJo under one roof. A lot has changed by now. Salman Khan has a Special Message for Karan Johar as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Celebrates 20 Years.
Shah Rukh Khan continues to be hailed as a superstar, but his box office standing has taken a great hit following the underwhelming performances of his last movies - Dilwale, FAN, Raees and Jab Harry Met Sejal. Karan Johar, on the other hand, is the biggest producer in Bollywood right now, a factor that has been enhanced by his involvement in two of India's biggest films, Baahubali and 2.0. He is also the closest to many of the star families and is a permanent fixture to all of the Bollywood parties.
But even with the passage of years, both of them insist that their friendship is intact though the dynamics have evolved a lot. Let's start with the fact about Karan Johar's promise working with Shah Rukh Khan in every movie. Well, we know that can't happen with his numerous productions, so let's talk about his directorials. After Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Karan Johar had directed SRK in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and My Name is Khan, all hits. However, his last two films, Student of the Year and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil has SRK as a co-producer and in a cameo role respectively only. His upcoming film, Takth, has no involvement of Shah Rukh Khan. Karan even admitted in his biography that Shah Rukh was not happy with the fact that he is working with other stars in his films.
However, that didn't affect their friendship that much, and KJo have even put his nomination first to launch SRK's son Aryan, if he ever had the plan to do so.
Recently, though, things have changed a bit with the status quo. Shah Rukh Khan is all set to release his biggie, Zero, a film that is very important to cement his box office reputation. A week later, Karan Johar is releasing his production Simmba, on December. Directed by Rohit Shetty, the movie stars Ranveer Singh and Sara Ali Khan in the lead. Simmba Song Aankh Marey: Ranveer Singh and Sara Ali Khan Make For a Dynamic Duo in the Remix Version of the 90s Chartbuster - Watch Video.
Though it is unusual for biggies to come around the same time, there are rumours that both SRK and Karan Johar are unhappy with the present arrangement and are looking to get maximum screens, especially when Zero enters the second week.
However, both 'friends' never talked about the clash much, though Rohit Shetty had something to say about it in September. He had said, "I think one week is enough and there is no competition. Earlier we were planning to come on the same day, but then we went into a discussion. We decided not to come together because that would affect numbers. It was a mutual decision. If the film does well in the first week, it will go on."
However, as per certain reports, things have soured between the two over the last few days. The reason for the same is pointed out to the package deal, Karan Johar and distributor Anil Thadani were asking from the distributors before the release of 2.0.
In an article in Bollywood Hungama, they refer to a source quoting to them, “There have been multiple discussions between Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar, however, the two could not reach to an impeccable solution. As Rohit Shetty was on Shah Rukh Khan’s side during Chennai Express, he knows Khan’s clout in the distribution circuit and doesn’t want to be at receiving end this time around. People at Reliance Entertainment overheard Shetty say, ‘We should go ahead with a clash if team Zero resorts to tactics like signing contracts.’ Shetty understands the business of Hindi films and doesn’t want the initial business of his film to suffer due to a fractured release." We don't know whether this deal happened or not, but this did delay the advance booking for 2.0 in Mumbai, which was to happen on Sunday but happened only on Wednesday.
A source close to the development told us, "Shah Rukh Khan has not taken lightly to the aggressive tactics of the Simmba team. He is unhappy that when even Riteish Deshmukh had preponed his film Mauli a week before for him, Karan Johar's tactics to give more screens to Simmba is affecting Zero's business." Zero: 5 Reasons Why Shah Rukh Khan Thanking Riteish Deshmukh For Avoiding Mauli's Clash With Zero is a Masterstroke.
Another trade source on the condition of anonymity told us, "(Anil) Thadani is also trying to get maximum screens for KGF, as his distribution company AA Films is looking into it, in Mumbai on December 21. As Zero is coming out on the same date and needs maximum screens to ensure profitability, this move will definitely hamper those chances." Remember what happened when Raees and Kaabil clashed? Though, Raees had the upper hand, the heavy competition from Hrithik Roshan's film did affect its business badly.
Zero is reportedly made on a budget of Rs 190 crore and Shah Rukh Khan is leaving no stones unturned to promote it aggressively. Tensions are running high and friendships are at stake here. Eyebrows are already being raised over the lack of Shah Rukh Khan in the latest season of Koffee With Karan. Has Priyanka Chopra Replaced Shah Rukh Khan As Koffee With Karan Finale Guest?
Also, while Karan Johar showed his support for Zero at the start by pouring praises for the trailer as well as the first song, he didn't tweet anything about the second song featuring SRK with Salman Khan. Though, he did take the time to tweet about the Uri trailer the next day.
Likewise, even Shah Rukh Khan has not tweeted anything about the Simmba trailer that was launched a couple of days back. While these may seem trifle for an ordinary man, for Bollywood, such courtesies matter.
Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar's friendship is something many had sworn by and we are really unhappy if they are having a fallout over business matters. We just hope that these two reconcile their differences and things turn back to normal. In these times of infighting and hate, friendships and love are what keeps our trust in humanity alive!