Aditya Chopra to make his Broadway debut as director with Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayege musical

The romantic drama, which premiered on October 20, 1995, catapulted Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol to stardom and established them as one of the most popular onscreen couples.

Aditya Chopra first portrayed the love story of Raj and Simran in 1995, and the narrative is now being made as a Broadway musical 26 years later. Chopra said on Saturday that the musical adaptation of the classic romantic film will be his Broadway debut as a director.

The filmmaker is “terribly nervous and incredibly excited” about the Broadway musical and he feels “23 again (the same age I was when I directed DDLJ)”.

“I’m a hardcore cinema guy, I have never done theatre in my life and here I am trying to pull off the craziest ambition of my life,” he said in a note shared with the media.

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The romantic drama, which premiered on October 20, 1995, catapulted Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol to stardom and established them as one of the most popular onscreen couples. Come…Fall In Love is the title of the song. Chopra’s Yash Raj Films will develop The DDLJ – Musical, a Broadway play.

The musical will be written and directed by Laurence Olivier Award-winner Nell Benjamin of Legally Blonde and Mean Girls fame, and will be based on an original narrative by Chopra. Composers Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani will work alongside associate choreographer Shruti Merchant, while Tony and Emmy winner Rob Ashford will choreograph.

Tony Award winner Derek McLane will design the set, who has previously worked on musicals such as Moulin Rouge!, Hairspray Live!, and 33 Variations, with music supervision by Bill Sherman. The Broadway musical will be executive produced by Adam Zotovich.

Come…Fall In Love with us, The DDLJ – Musical will premiere at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in September 2022, and will run on Broadway from 2022 to 2023. Duncan Stewart of Stewart/Whitley casting and Yash Raj Films casting head Shanoo Sharma will lead a global casting hunt.

“It was just not the fact that both use songs to tell the story, it was much more than that, it was the feeling they evoked which was exactly the same. The burst of colours, the heightened drama, the passionate singing, the unabashed dancing, a classic story, a happy end. It filled me with the same joy and emotions that a good Indian film does.”

“I realised then, that worlds apart, languages apart, western musical theatre and Indian films are two long lost lovers separated in time.”

The filmmaker said Come…Fall In Love. The DDLJ – Musical is the most ambitious project of his life. “I’m reuniting two long lost lovers, Broadway Musical and Indian Films,” he added.

Chopra also claimed that he wanted to make Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge with Tom Cruise from the Hollywood film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. However, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol starred in the film, which was eventually made in Hindi.

“The film created history and changed my life and many others forever. But what many don’t know is that I never intended to make DDLJ in Hindi.

“As a 23 year old young man greatly influenced by Hollywood and American pop culture, I thought I would make a couple of Indian films and then I would be off to Hollywood and make DDLJ for a worldwide English speaking audience with Tom Cruise as my leading man. That obviously didn’t happen,” he said.

The filmmaker, however, is glad for his Hindi debut that gave him his “identity” and kickstarted an amazing journey and said he will always be grateful.

“26 years later I’m going back to my original vision of the story of DDLJ, a love story of an American boy and an Indian girl, a love story of two cultures…two worlds.

“But this time the medium is not cinema but theatre. 26 years later I will be directing DDLJ all over again but this time as an English language Broadway Musical for a worldwide audience,” he added.

Chopra said he may be nervous but he is relying on a fantastic team who has worked with for the past three years in developing “this passion project”.

“I have learnt so much from them and discovered the unbelievable talent that the Broadway community has. I feel 23 again, the same age I was when I directed DDLJ.

“I’m once again a student, each one of my team members is more experienced than me in the world of theatre, I’m the rookie and I’m loving every moment of it. I’m all set to learn, explore, create and enjoy with these wonderful theatre artists and the magical world of Broadway musicals,” he said.

Nell Benjamin said Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was his introduction to the world of Indian cinema. “I was so happy to be approached to do the musical and I hope my work helps everyone fall in love with Simran and Rog and their journey across multiple cultures to love.

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“The world can always use a little more cultural understanding, and I can’t wait to sit in a theater with an audience sharing the joy and surprise of Come Fall In Love: The DDLJ Musical,” she added.

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