Bollywood could witness yet another epic clash as Karan Johar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali are all set to dish out their ambitious projects on the same date in 2015.
Just as the news of Rajkumar Hirani-Aamir Khan team's "PK" releasing with Anurag Kashyap-Ranbir Kapoor's "Bombay Velvet" on 25 December this year created waves in the industry, the Johar and Bhansali clash is seen as the next major box office face off.
Johar had announced earlier this year that "Shuddhi" will get a Christmas release in 2015. But the film's casting is still in troubled waters as the male lead is yet to be confirmed. Speculations have hinted Deepika Padukone has been signed as the heroine after Kareena Kapoor Khan's ouster.
However, it has now emerged that Bhansali's dream project "Bajirao Mastani", which has been facing some casting issues of its own, is also aiming for a 25 December release next year, tweeted trade analyst Komal Nahata.
This Christmas,it's gonna be P.K. Next Christmas?On 25th Dec.,2015 will release SanjayLeela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani. Cast being finalised
— Komal Nahta (@KomalNahta) March 31, 2014
Though "Bajirao Mastani" is still in its casting stages, the possibility of a face off between the two big banners takes us back to similar instances which created uncomfortable situations and blame games in the industry.
A couple of years ago, Ajay Devgn had moved the court to get a stay for Yash Raj Films' Shah Rukh Khan starrer "Jab Tak Hain Jaan", which clashed with the former's "Son of Sardar" on 13 November 2012. A bitter situation arose when Devgn accused YRF of illegally blocking screens for their film.
Yet again, Shah Rukh's "Chennai Express" led the makers of "Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara!" to postpone their film's release by a week as Ekta Kapoor cried foul and had a tiff with UTV Motion Pictures, which backed the former project.
And recently, Aamir created quite a situation when he announced that "PK" release date has been pushed from June to 25 December, leading to a direct conflict with Kapoor's "Bombay Velvet". The Kashyap project had booked the Christmas release date a long time ago and the "Dev D" director appeared clearly irked with the development, as he openly voiced his disproval towards Hirani.
Box office clashes between major films are a damaging trend which leads to stark division in profits and audiences, and also tensions within the clans of the industry. And it now appears Johar and Bhansali are pretty much headed the same way with their respective films.