The Shahrukh - Yash Chopra War!

When a top star takes on one of the topmost directors in the industry, there can only be bedlam! In a sudden and astonishing development, Shah Rukh Khan and Yash Chopra are apparently at daggers drawn, even as the industry stands as a stunned witness!

The Shah Rukh Khan-Yash Chopra team was supposed to be impregnable. A relationship that had remained uncontaminated by industry manipulation and ego tussles. But their apparent showdown almost a month ago, proves that no industry relationship can last. It is especially sad that a team like Shah Rukh and Yash Copra's should break up. They have, after all, given us some of the most entertaining films of this century.

The Shah Rukh-Yash Chopra association dates back to almost six years, when the director first cast Shah Rukh in Darr. The actor, at that time, was considered one of the most promising newcomers in the industry. With Darr, Shah Rukh immediately hit big league.

Darr went on to become a runaway hit. From then on, Shah Rukh became a part of the exclusive Yash Chopra clique. One after another, Yash Chopra announced two big projects with Shah Rukh, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Dil To Pagal Hai. While most newcomers can only dream of shaking hands with Yash Chopra, a relative newcomer had bagged not one but two films with the director.

Meanwhile, every film that Shah Rukh touched seemed to be turning into gold. Be it a Baazigar, a Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, or a Deewana. . . With each of these hits, the star's market value was soaring. Bigger banners with bigger prices, were approaching him.

But something strange seemed to be happening in the Shah Rukh-Yash relationship. While most producers were paying Shah Rukh above a crore by 1996, he was being paid as little as Rs.50 lakhs for Yash Chopra's films. Says a well placed industry source, "The whole industry was surprised that THE Shah Rukh Khan could agree to be paid such a pittance. Rs.50 lakhs is even less than what Kajol or Karisma demand for their films. And here was India's number one actor, settling for a meagre amount. There was a great deal of resentment amongst other producers, who felt that they were being short-changed. Just because Yash Chopra was a big name, he could arbitrarily offer a star like Shah Rukh anything he wanted.

They didn't think it was fair! In fact, quite a few of them even spoke to Shah Rukh about their grievance. Shah Rukh did lend them a patient ear. But he also managed to convince them that since he was not affected by it, they shouldn't be either."

Shah Rukh, everyone knows, is loyal towards his professional relationships and commitments. And Yash Chopra was someone he was especially close to and held in high regard. Shah Rukh is one of those few actors who don't take the tag game seriously. His attitude is that if he is at the number one position, it is because of filmmakers like Yash Chopra. And he continues to be grateful to him.

But there are limits to one's leniency too. Apparently, the problems began when Shah Rukh was informed by certain distributors abroad, that Yash-Raj Combine (Yash Chopra's distribution concern), had minted huge amounts of money with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and that they were lying to Yash Johar about the profit figures. When Shah Rukh heard of this, he is said to have been shocked and livid. Everyone knows that Karan and Yash Johar, mean more than family to him. And he apparently couldn't accept the fact that Yash Chopra, who claimed to be friends with Yash Johar, could resort to something like this.

The situation was further aggravated when K.C. Bokadia came along and fed him another bitter pill. According to several industry people who spoke to CINE BLITZ, K.C. Bokadia had approached Shah Rukh for a film and had actually offered him four crores of rupees. Apparently, Bokadia had heard the rumours about Yash Chopra and Shah Rukh falling out and decided to add fuel to fire. No one knows why Bokadia decided to confront Shah Rukh with the truth and acquaint him with a few ground realities. All that the industry sources are aware of, is that Bokadia told Shah Rukh in no uncertain terms, that the Chopras were taking him for granted and that Shah Rukh should realise that in his case, it was not the director who would sell the film but Shah Rukh himself. He apparently further went on to give factual proof of Shah Rukh's immense popularity inside and outside the country, and urged him to reconsider Yash Chopra's terms and conditions.

By now, Shah Rukh was reportedly seething with anger. He is said to have got right back to Yash Chopra and told him that considering the circumstances, he was not at all sure that he wanted to do Chopra's next film, unless he was given seven crores of rupees, which is the territorial price for his films. A fuming Yash Chopra apparently confronted Shah Rukh, claiming to have been the one to have made him into what he is today. Shah Rukh is said to have walked out with dignity, refusing to fall prey to Yash Chopra's approach.

After repeatedly contacting K.C. Bokadia who was away in Jaipur, we finally got him on the line to shed some light on the matter. "This is the first time I am hearing of this," he began with. "I am so busy outside Mumbai, why should I involve myself with the politics of this industry? Besides, how can I say anything against such big people like Yash Chopra? This is totally false. Yes, I am doing a film with Shah Rukh and Salman called Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam. But I have not spoken to Shah Rukh about Yash Chopra, believe me. And why would I want to create trouble between Shah Rukh and Yash Chopra? I have better things to do."

As of now, Shah Rukh and Yash Chopra are reportedly not on speaking terms, though Aditya Chopra is said to be the mediator on his father's behalf. As is typical of Shah Rukh, the actor has maintained extremely cordial relations with Aditya Chopra, who is a close friend. He has even promised to work in at least Aditya's films, even though he may never work with Yash Chopra again.

Other Articles:

Shahrukh Yash Chopra War!
Shahrukh notes - I'm not a good human being
The making of a man


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