Salman Khan’s fans have praised his no-nonsense portrayal in the recent film Antim – The Final Truth. They also praised filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar for getting a great performance out of the celebrity. Salman has recently shone in films directed by renowned and brilliant filmmakers such as Ali Abbas Zafar (Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai), Kabir Khan (Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan), and others. Now it has been learned that earlier the superstar was in talks with another talented filmmaker for a fascinating project some time ago. Neeraj Pandey, who celebrates his birthday today, is the filmmaker in question.
A source told Bollywood Hungama, “Neeraj Pandey had once offered a script to Salman Khan. The name of the film was Zindabaad. Like some of Neeraj’s ventures, this one, too, was based on global terrorism. It had something to do with the Taliban and how the terror outfit kidnaps the character, which was to be essayed by Salman. How Salman escapes from the clutches of the Taliban formed the crux of the film.”
However, Zindabaad never took off and the reasons are not known. An industry insider said, “This seemed like a very promising subject. Neeraj Pandey has certain sensibilities and it is nice to see how he merges content with entertainment. His films like Special 26 (2013) and Baby (2015) were much loved. Special 26, in fact, gave a new direction to Akshay Kumar’s career. The same can be said about the Special Ops web series, created by Neeraj Pandey and which turned the tide for Kay Kay Menon. Who knows, if both had joined hands that too for such a large-scale subject, it could have hugely benefited both. Nevertheless, here’s hoping Zindabaad materializes someday.”
With the sleeper hit A Wednesday, Neeraj Pandey became an overnight sensation (2008). Neeraj Pandey will produce Vikram Vedha, a film starring Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan, next year.