Can't imagine SRK stepping on someone's toes: Sanjay Gupta

The Kaabil director is all praise for his rival film's co-star, reckons the clash with Raees can be averted.

Mayur Lookhar

Gone are the days when filmmakers spewed venom against competitors, it appears. Box-office clashes have come to the fore again, but no longer do we see the acrimony of days gone by.

Often it is Shah Rukh Khan who finds himself in a box-office pickle. Come Republic Day next year, Khan will be battling good friend Hrithik Roshan as their films (Raees and Kaabil, respectively) collide. We have heard some strong words from filmmaker Rakesh Roshan before, but there does not seem to be any acrimony between the two films' makers now.

Kaabil director Sanjay Gupta played down the clash. He believes SRK, as Khan is popularly known, will play fairly.

“I wouldn't say I am in denial, but I think the clash could still be averted," Gupta said. "In all fairness, Rakeshji did announce the release date first. SRK is a man of principles, a man of his word, he is a Pathan. I can't fathom SRK stepping on someone's toes. I don't know if the films will come on the same day, but I definitely think they shouldn't. If someone else had announced a film before him, there is no way in hell that Rakeshji would release his film on the same date. That is the respect we need to accord one another,” Gupta told the Mumbai Mirror newspaper.

Gupta also suggested that the clash would hurt Raees more as it has a bigger star. "Hrithik is 10 years younger to Shah Rukh," he said. "So I don't see this as competition. Shah Rukh's competition are Salman [Khan] and Aamir [Khan]."

Gupta claimed that if both films were released on the same date, neither would get more than Rs150 crore in the first week. "We have a Rs300 crore box-office window at best," he said. "When Salman releases a film solo, he gets Rs300 crore. Shah Rukh should be looking at getting Rs300 crore for his film and I'm sure he is looking at that possibility. I don't understand why he would restrict the business of his own film.”

Shah Rukh Khan had met Rakesh Roshan to request him to delay the release of Kaabil. However, since Roshan had announced the release date first, he refused to alter it.

Roshan also caused eyebrows to be raised when he declared that he would release Krrish 4 along with SRK’s unnamed project with Aanand L Rai in 2018. He later backed down, saying that since SRK had first declared his intention to release the project in the Christmas week in 2018, he would not release Krrish 4 then.

Clearly, he and Sanjay Gupta expect Khan to follow the same principle in the Raees-Kaabil clash.