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Kalank was a dream that Yash Johar had first conceived, reveals Karan

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Producer Karan Johar recalled how the cast had been locked some years earlier, but for some reason the project didn't take off.

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Mayur Lookhar

The teaser of Dharma Productions' Kalank was released yesterday in Mumbai. It was a special moment for producer Karan Johar as this was a story his father Yash Johar had first conceived decades ago.

"This is special for us for today," Karan Johar said. "This story has been with Dharma for years now. It was my father who wanted to produce it. I think it was in 2003 when we were all set to go. The star cast was locked down, but for some reason it did not take off."

Dharma Productions suffered a setback when its founder and Karan's father Yash Johar passed away in 2004. "I was to direct this story after doing Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001). My father then passed away in 2004. I felt I had lost a great support and I just couldn't do the film," Karan said.

Nearly 15 years later, Karan Johar revisited the dream with Abhishek Varman. It wasn't easy to get Varman to direct it, however.

"Abhishek Varman is one of our finest talents at Dharma," Karan Johar said. "We felt that he was the best to tell this story. We had to persuade him though, as he wasn't sure whether he could do it.

"This is his second feature. We have bettered the story and here we are! Kalank is the biggest film of Dharma so far."

Kalank boasts of a stellar cast led by Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit. Set in the 1940s as the country moved towards Independence and Partition, this epic costume drama is set to be released on 17 April.