New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) One of Bollywood's most powerful production houses, Yash Raj Films (YRF), turns 50 next year, and movie buffs look forward to keen celebrations. However, YRF are traditionally not given to overt hype or publicity drives, and like everything they do, studio sources have been tightlipped about its 2020 plan of action.
If the buzz is anything to by, YRF already have a star-filled line up for their golden jubilee year.
The big release lined up for YRF next year is the Akshay Kumar-satrrer "Prithviraj". Maintaining Bollywood tradition of having a YRF release on Diwali, the biggie will release on November 13. Interestingly, the lavish film, directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, launches Miss World 2017 Manushi Chillar's Bollywood career as a heroine.
Akshay Kumar apart, YRF have several other top stars lined up through the year. New-gen superstar Ranveer Singh returns to Yash Raj fold with "Jayeshbhai Jordaar". The actor co-stars with Shalini Pandey (of "Arjun Reddy" fame) in the film, and transforms into a Gujarati man in the comic drama, which directed by debutant filmmaker Divyang Thakkar and produced by YRF's Maneesh Sharma, who incidentally called the shots on Ranveer's debut film, "Band Baaja Baaraat".
"I'm glad that today I find myself in a position where I can recognise exceptional talent and wholeheartedly back the vision of a brilliant new writer-director like Divyang. 'Jayeshbhai Jordaar' will be my next release after '83'," Ranveer told DNA a while back.
YRF's third confirmed biggie of 2020 is the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer period drama "Shamshera". The film casts Ranbir as a dacoit, opposite Vaani Kapoor, and also features Sanjay Dutt. "Shamshera" is directed by 'Agneepath" maker Karan Malhotra, and is slated for a July 31 release.
There have been unconfirmed reports of other big announcements, of course -- of films that may or may not release in 2020, if at all they go on floors.
The biggest buzz among such rumours is that Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif might return for "Ek The Tiger 3", a new sequel in YRF's blockbuster "Tiger" franchise. Rumour also has it there are plans for "Bunty Aur Babli 2".
Importantly, the 50th year of YRF coincides with the 25th year of "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" (DDLJ), which marked Aditya Chopra's directorial debut. The film had released on October 19, 1995. It was the Diwali release that year. In 2020, Diwali will happen on November 13 with Akshay's "Prithviraj", but the festive season for Bollywood fans could be ushered about a month before, with DDLJ celebrations.
When IANS contacted YRF for details related to their plans to step into the 50th year, the banner did not comment.
Yash Raj Films was founded by filmmaker Yash Raj Chopra in 1970. After starting out as an assistant to elder brother BR Chopra, he went on to direct five films for his brother's banner, BR Films.
The maiden film that was released by the production banner was "Daag: A Poem of Love" (1973), starring Rajesh Khanna, Raakhee and Sharmila Tagore. This was quickly followed by a string of memorable films including "Kabhie Kabhie", "Kaala Patthar", "Silsila", "Chandni", "Lamhe" and "Darr", among other releases
The next level for the studio happened with the entry of Yash Chopra's elder son Aditya into the business.
Aditya Chopra's importance at YRF has been more than just about directing popular hits as "DDLJ", Mohabbatein" and "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi". Through the 2000s and the 2010s, he gave YRF a corporate structure producing films of various budgets for other directors, foraying the video and music scenes, besides setting up a profitable distribution model.
Indeed, YRF under Aditya Chopra has been more than one of Hindi cinema's biggest banners, which it was all along during the Yash Chopra era. The YRF of Aditya Chopra truly ushered the studio culture in new Bollywood.
Now, as the studio turns 50, the industry is looking with enthusiasm to what the next level will be.
Blockbusters in the Aditya Chopra era include the "Dhoom" franchise, "Fanaa", "Bunty Aur Babli", and "Veer-Zaara" and the recent "War".
Over the years, YRF launched several new directors including Sanjay Gadhvi, Vijay Krishna Acharya, Kunal Kohli, Siddharth Anand, and Shaad Ali, besides becoming the hub of several top stars -- from Shah Rukh Khan, whose superstardom is largely defined by the studio's films, to Katrina Kaif, many stars have had some of them best roles in YRF films. The studio has also been a launchpad for talents as Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Parineeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor and Vaani Kapoor.
Ranveer made his debut with the hit "Band Baajaa Baaraat". While Ayushmann was in their successful film "Dum Laga Ke Haisha", Parineeti and Arjun were seen in the National Award-winning film "Ishaqzaade". While Anushka made her debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the blockbuster "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi". Vaani Kapoor was introduced in Maneesh Sharma's "Shudh Desi Romance".
With former Miss World Manushi Chillar and "Arjun Reddy" fame Shalini Pandey already lined up for debuts in YRF productions next year, the flow of newcomers coming from the studio will continue.