Disney India to make shock exit from Hindi films production, Siddharth Roy Kapur to be ousted

One of the biggest production houses in the industry is set to announce its exit from the business. 

Shriram Iyengar

Just when you thought the film industry could not have it worse this year, this news comes in. Reports have emerged that Disney India is planning to exit Hindi film production. One of the biggest studios in the country, it will now shift focus to Hollywood film distribution and television licensing and merchandising. This will effectively pull the plug on the Hindi film project started by Ronnie Screwvala in 2004. 

The Economic Times quoted a source as saying, "It is unfortunate that Disney has decided to pull the plug on the Hindi film production business, which UTV was known and respected for. But in the current scenario, it is unviable and loss making. I hope we will revive this business in the future,". The source also added "Kapur and The Walt Disney Company have agreed not to renew the contract and the search for the new head for its India."

The films produced by Disney India include the blockbuster PK (2012), ABCD2 (2015), Baaghi (2016), Tamasha (2015), and Fitoor (2016). It has been a mixed bag of profits and losses for the studio. Their most recent production, the Hrithik Roshan starrer, Mohenjo Daro, also ran into serious losses. 

Siddharth Roy Kapur took over from former boss, Screwvala in 2012, when Disney bought out UTV. However, this recent report suggests that Kapur might have to give way to a new head of operations for Disney India. Among the names speculated are Abhishek Maheshwari, Head of Consumer Products, corporate strategy and business development in Disney India. 

It is also speculated that Kapur might join his old boss, Ronnie Screwvala for a new project. Screwvala is planning to return to his old passion of film production with his new film, RSVP. 

However, Screwvala has reportedly denied the rumours. The report says, on being asked, the former UTV CEO said, "I have just read in media, and NO Sid (Kapur) is not looking at joining RSVP, now or ever in the future."