In a recent interview, Atlee, the acclaimed director of the blockbuster film Jawan, revealed his initial desire to make a romantic film with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. This revelation has sparked excitement among fans who have long admired Shah Rukh Khan’s iconic performances in romantic films.
Atlee, who has been compared to Bollywood’s Rajkumar Hirani for his successful streak in Tamil cinema, made his Hindi directorial debut with Jawan. The film, which starred Shah Rukh Khan, Nayanthara, and Vijay Sethupathi, was a massive hit, earning over Rs 400 crore in India and crossing Rs 600 crore worldwide at the box office.
Atlee wanted to make Romantic Comedy with Shah Rukh Khan
In the interview, Atlee shared that when he first met Shah Rukh Khan, he had envisioned making a film similar to his romantic comedy Raja Rani. However, Shah Rukh Khan expressed his interest in exploring the “Atlee world” – a cinematic universe characterized by its unique blend of mass appeal and engaging storytelling.
“See, when he called me and I met him, I thought I’d make something in the zone of Raja Rani with him. But he said he wants to a film that belongs to the Atlee world. He said he hasn’t tried anything like that yet. So to bring him into my world, I had to come up with something new. Whatever people are enjoying and appreciation in theatres is all because of the thought Shah Rukh Khan sir gave to me.” Atlee said.
Recalling the times when Shah Rukh Khan approached Atlee, he recalls “When Shah Rukh sir asked me to make a film with him, it was like a lifetime opportunity for any director. I was very happy, I said yes. Then I went to Vijay sir and told him. He said, ‘Are you serious? He came to you?’ I said he did. He said, ‘Give your life to it.’ So, everyone was very supportive.”
The Transformation of Shah Rukh Khan to a “Mass” Hero
Atlee successfully transformed Shah Rukh Khan from a romantic hero to an action hero in Jawan. He created a “mass avatar” of Shah Rukh Khan, an aspect he felt was somewhat unexplored. The director believed that Shah Rukh Khan had not fully delved into this territory, jokingly adding that perhaps the actor was saving it for him.
“I wanted to create a mass avatar of Shah Rukh Khan. I think that was an area a little bit unexplored. He also didn’t explore it, maybe he was saving it for me (laughs). He did go wild, with films like Don. But the mass layer was pending. So I grabbed it. As a writer-director, I feel I’m very good at it.”Atlee said.
The result was a high-octane action thriller that outlined the emotional journey of a man set to rectify societal wrongs. Despite the shift from romance to action, Atlee managed to strike a balance between paying fan service to Shah Rukh Khan and sticking to his story’s core.
While fans have thoroughly enjoyed Shah Rukh Khan’s transformation in Jawan, Atlee’s revelation about his initial desire to make a romantic film with the actor has certainly piqued interest. As we look forward to future collaborations between Atlee and Shah Rukh Khan, one can’t help but wonder what magic they could create in the realm of romance.
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