190608 Karan Johar
Karan Johar Image Credit: AFP

If the rumour mill is to be believed, Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar’s ‘Takht’ has been shelved after being placed on the backburner for much of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The period drama was announced way back in 2018 with a Bollywood star-studded celebrity ensemble that had everyone sit up and take notice. Kareena Kapoor Khan, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Janhvi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Bhumi Pednekar were all listed on the poster that was proudly tweeted by Johar at the time.

The film was based on the history of Mughals in India, telling the story of Emperor Aurangzeb and his brother Dara Shikoh in a clash for the throne of India.

After 2016’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, ‘Takht’ was meant to be Johar’s comeback as a director. However, news filtering down now confirms that the project has been indefinitely been put on hold.

According to a report by Filmfare, one of the reasons the project has now been shelved is because Fox Star, which was backing the film with Johar’s Dharma Productions, dropped the project and the filmmaker could not get another compant to invest in the film in the current situation.

A source quoted by the title said: “Takht made no sense in the present context. It was meant to be an expensive historical costume drama, a collaboration between Karan Johar’s Dharma Production and Fox-Star. But Fox-star folded up and its replacement has been re-examining its long-standing relationship with Dharma Productions. Also, it was based on rather controversial Moghul history. Besides this, given the financial pitfalls Karan Johar has decided to shelve ‘Takht’ and do a light-hearted romantic family film.”

Takht Image Credit: Twitter.com/karanjohar

The rom-com in question is ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani’, which stars Bhatt and Singh in the lead. The film also features Bollywood veteran stars Dharamendra, Shabhana Azmi and Jaya Bachchan.

Earlier this month, the filmmaker took to his social media to make the announcement saying: “Thrilled to get behind the lens with my favourite people in front of it! Presenting Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, headlined by none other than Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt and written by Ishita Moitra, Shashank Khaitan & Sumit Roy. This anokhi kahani [unique story] is coming to your screens in 2022!”

The movie will mark Bachchan’s return to Bollywood after several years, with her last major role being in the 2008 film ‘Drona’, which starred her son Abhishek Bachchan.

Johar, to his credit, has hit films in his roster including ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum’, ‘Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna’, ‘Student of the Year’ and ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’.

A still from Karan Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham Image Credit: Dharma Productions

The film will also be a second collaboration between Bhatt and Singh, who also featured together in ‘Gully Boy’ in 2019.