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Harshvardhan Kapoor's Bhavesh Joshi faces an uncertain future

Phantom Films and Eros Now announce new untitled project with the same actor and director Vikramaditya Motwane.

Mayur Lookhar

Vikramaditya Motwane's film Bhavesh Joshi has been in the making for a while now. It was first delayed when actor Sidharth Malhotra backed out. Then Harshvardhan Kapoor was signed for the role before his maiden film, Mirzya (2016), was released.

Now, Bhavesh Joshi faces an uncertain future again after the producer, Phantom Films, announced a revenge action drama starring Kapoor and directed by Motwane.

Phantom Films made the announcement on Twitter today. The new film is a collaboration among Phantom, Eros Now and Reliance Entertainment and is slated to be released on 25 May 2018.

An official associated with Phantom Films denied that the announcement refers to the same Bhavesh Joshi. “What I can tell you is that this new project is not Bhavesh Joshi," the source said. "The announcement is for a new film. We have no idea about Bhavesh Joshi. This new film is an action revenge drama."

Requesting anonymity, a film exhibitor said, “Bhavesh Joshi has been talked about for long, even before Harshvardhan’s maiden film Mirzya was released. I am not sure whether this is a new project or they are repackaging Bhavesh Joshi as a revenge drama.”

Calls and texts to Motwane did not elicit any response till the time of publication. Cinestaan.com, however, had spoken to the director after the screening of the documentary Ask The Sexpert at the MAMI festival last month. We asked Motwane about rumours surrounding the fate of his film. All he would say was that there was no problem, the shooting had been wrapped up, and the film would be released next year.

An industry insider, however, said, “Bhavesh Joshi has probably gone to the garbage can, and I don’t think it will get out. Unfortunately, after Mirzya failed, not many people were willing to put money on Harshvardhan. I can only assume that the new project is to make up for Bhavesh Joshi. No artiste returns the signing amount. Having given the money, they ought to make use of it and perhaps the new project is compensation for that.”

Another source associated with Bhavesh Joshi said, “What I had last heard was that the teaser was going to come out in January, with Motwane and Phantom eyeing a summer release. I had heard about the first edit being done, but the rest of it was pending. Honestly, I no longer bother about the status of Bhavesh Joshi. We had a scattered schedule from the beginning. The first schedule was shot in July to the first week of September last year. Then we took a break as Harshvardhan started promoting Mirzya. We then shot a bit in January, before the final schedule ended in April 2017.”

Without official word from the director or the production house, one can only assume that Bhavesh Joshi has been put on the back burner.

Kapoor recently signed on for a biopic on Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra. The son of veteran actor Anil Kapoor has endured a rough start to his career with his maiden film bombing. Recently, there were reports that he had rejected the next project of director duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, but Nidimoru later said he had never offered the script to Kapoor, because it was not even ready.