Aditya Chopra
Aditya Chopra returns from vacation.jpg
Chopra in 2012
Born (1971-05-21) 21 May 1971 (age 51)
Alma mater
Occupations
  • Film director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
  • film distributor
  • studio executive
Years active1988–present
TitleChairman and Managing Director of Yash Raj Films
Spouses
  • Payal Khanna
    (m. 2000; div. 2009)
  • (m. 2014)
Children1
Parents
RelativesUday Chopra (brother)
FamilyChopra
Mukherjee (by marriage)

Aditya Chopra (/ˈɑːdituɑː ˈhprɑː/; born 21 May 1971) is an Indian filmmaker, studio executive, producer and film distributor who mainly works in Indian cinema. He is also the current Chairman of India's multi-national film, media, and entertainment conglomerate Yash Raj Films (YRF), becoming the second person to hold that position in the company's history after Sanjeev Kohli.[1] He is known for writing and directing Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Mohabbatein (2000), Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) and Befikre (2016).

Having denied him admission into the NSD due to his severe stammering as a young applicant, the Film Division of India eventually honored him with the National Award for his achievements in 1995, 2005, 2007 and 2015.[2][3] Widely regarded as one of the most influential executives in Indian entertainment, Chopra has however rejected the publicity and fame that came with being Yash Chopra's son and the chief executive of Yash Raj Films.[4][5][6]

Early life

Chopra, the elder son of the late filmmaker Yash Chopra and Pamela Chopra, was born on 21 May 1971.[7][8] He completed his formal education and acquired his Indian Certificate of Secondary Education from Bombay Scottish School. He graduated from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics along with Anil Thadani, Karan Johar (who is his first cousin) and Abhishek Kapoor.[9]

Filmmaking career

Chopra started his film-making career at the age of 18 as an assistant director, working with his father on films such as Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991) and Darr (1993). He also wrote his first screenplays for his father's Parampara (1992) and his mother's independently produced film Aaina (1993), which was the only film not directed by his father that he served as an assistant director on. Chopra, after gaining a respectable amount of experience, started independently at the age of 23 with the all-time blockbuster Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, with Shahrukh Khan and Kajol, for which he was the director and writer. The film was scripted by Chopra and produced by his father Yash Chopra, under the YRF banner. Chopra started work on the script of the film in 1990, at the age of 19, and gradually spent time making about five drafts of the film's original script. Chopra even managed to convince his brother Uday Chopra and cousin Karan Johar, both aspiring filmmakers, to enter the film industry as assistant directors with the film. Chopra once said that the presence of his relatives during the making of the film worked as a huge emotional support. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge eventually went on to become one of the biggest hits of all time[10] and won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.[11]

Yash Raj Films

Chopra eventually went on to write the dialogues and the story of his father's 1997 blockbuster Dil To Pagal Hai, (which won the National Award), also made under YRF. His next film as a director was Mohabbatein with Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan which gave the yesteryear star a new life in his film career, and also launched his brother Uday Chopra into the film industry. The film was also written and co-produced by Chopra and fared very well at the box office. The next film under the banner was Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai, in June 2002 which also starred his brother Uday alongside Tulip Joshi, Bipasha Basu and Jimmy Sheirgill. The film did moderately well at the box office.[12] The studio's final release that year was Saathiya in December 2002 which starred Vivek Oberoi opposite Rani Mukerji.

2004 breakthrough

In 2004, Chopra produced Hum Tum, Dhoom and Veer Zaara (for which he was also the screenwriter) under the YRF banner. All three films went on to become critical and commercial blockbusters, earning more than 199 crore (US$25 million)[13] (unadjusted for inflation) in the worldwide market. The films became the seventh, fourth and highest-grossing Indian films of 2004. The company won most of the Indian film awards in the year, with Veer Zaara also winning the National Award. This was considered a major breakthrough for this film producing company and cemented its position as the leader of the Indian Entertainment for the following decades, to date.

Chopra then produced and wrote several other highly commercial and critically acclaimed films over the years, namely Bunty Aur Babli, Salaam Namaste, Fanaa, Dhoom 2 and Chak De India (which also won the National Award). Chopra also made his third film as a director in 2008 with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi starring Shahrukh Khan and launching newcomer Anushka Sharma. The film became the highest-grossing film for Shahrukh Khan and YRF at that time, grossing 172 crore (US$22 million)[14] in the worldwide market. These films established them as one of the most powerful film production companies in Indian cinema, giving Aditya Chopra an estimated net worth of 6,350 crore (US$800 million)[15] (trade and stock market estimate) and making Chopra one of the most influential people in the country.

YRF launched a number of budding screenwriters and directors under their banner throughout these years. Directors and screenwriters such as Karan Johar (his Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was co-produced and released by Yash Raj Film Distributors), Kunal Kohli, Kabir Khan, Sanjay Gadhvi, Jaideep Sahni, Siddharth Anand, Shimit Amin, Habib Faisal, Shaad Ali, Maneesh Sharma and Vijay Acharya debuted under YRF and have gone on to become independent entities in films. The company also produced films for filmmakers such as Anil Mehta and Pradeep Sarkar under their banner. The company was eventually ranked at Number 1 (among the most successful film production companies in India) in a survey conducted by Filmfare and at Number 27 (among the most successful film production companies in the world) in a survey by The Hollywood Reporter, both under the vice-chairmanship of Chopra.[16]

Return to film direction: Befikre (2016)

In September 2015, YRF announced Chopra's directorial comeback, titled Befikre, scheduled for a December 2016 release.[17] In October 2015, it was announced that Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor would be cast in the lead roles.[18][19] In December 2015, YRF announced that the music of the film will be produced by Vishal–Shekhar and Jaideep Sahni, both of whom would return to collaborate with YRF after roughly 9 years.[20] This would mark Chopra's directorial comeback after roughly 8 years (his Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi released in 2008).[21] A theatrical trailer of the film was released at the Eiffel Tower and across social media platforms in the month of October.[22] The film was budgeted at 70 crore (US$8.8 million) (including P&A) and released across 2900 screens worldwide on 9 December 2016.[23] It opened to widespread negative reviews across platforms and faced heavy losses to its business because of the currency demonetisation implied by the Government of India a few days prior to its release.[24][25] The film managed to gross 63 crore (US$7.9 million) after a two-week theatrical run at the global box office failing to manage break-even business for YRF.[26]

Other works

YRF Studios

Upon realising the lack of a proper film shooting studio during their years of film-making, YRF went on build their dream film production studio in the year 2005, located in Mumbai city. The first film to be shot in YRF Studios was the company's 2006 critical and commercial blockbuster Fanaa. Some of the notable films of outside banners that were shot in the studio over the years are; Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), Partner (2007), Taare Zameen Par (2007), Dostana (2008), Wanted (2009), 3 Idiots (2009), My Name Is Khan (2010), Dabangg (2010), Bodyguard (2011), Ra.One (2011), Agneepath (2012), Chennai Express (2013), Jai Ho (2014) and P.K. (2014). The studio was created and designed by Chopra and his then wife, Payal Khanna and is equipped with high technology film shooting equipment and materials. The studio, sprawling over 20 acres (81,000 m2) and towering up to six floors, is used to shoot films for the company and is also rented for other filming and television shoots such as 10 Ka Dum and Kaun Banega Crorepati for Sony and Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain, Koffee With Karan and Satyamev Jayate for STAR.[27]

YRF Home Entertainment

Apart from film production, Chopra's YRF also distributed (theatrical, home entertainment and satellite) and canvassed a wide variety of Independent films that came out of the Parallel Cinema industry of India, such as Godmother (1999), Zubeidaa (2001), Maqbool (2004), Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities (2004), Black (2005), My Brother Nikhil (2005), Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005) and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (2005), that helped them leverage with a powerful film production house such as his, and thereby reach a wider audience on their release. YRF Distributors also released several big-budgeted films such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Biwi No.1 (1999), Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), Koi Mil Gaya (2003), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Krrish (2006) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006). In 2013, the company's distribution leg reportedly sold the satellite rights of its highly anticipated venture Dhoom 3 for 75 crore (US$9.4 million).[28] to Sony Entertainment Television.[29]

YRF Music

After constantly delivering musical successes such as Darr, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Dil To Pagal Hai throughout the years of its existence, the company decided to leverage on their growing clout in the music industry. YRF established their independent feature music distribution leg under the name YRF Music in 2004. The leg was developed for the purpose of digital as well as physical distribution of all the film soundtracks released under the banner. The first soundtrack to be distributed under YRF Music was the company's critical and commercial musical blockbuster Veer Zaara. The leg established careers of many budding music composers throughout the years, who leveraged themselves by scoring music for YRF projects such as Jatin–Lalit (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge), Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy (Bunty Aur Babli), Pritam (Dhoom), Vishal–Shekhar (Salaam Namaste), Salim–Sulaiman (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), Amit Trivedi (Ishaqzaade), Ram Sampath (Luv Ka The End), Sajid–Wajid (Daawat-e-Ishq), Sohail Sen (Mere Brother Ki Dulhan), Raghu Dixit (Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge), Sachin–Jigar (Shuddh Desi Romance) and Amartya Rahut (Aurangzeb).[30]

Walt Disney buyout-refusal

The Walt Disney Company entered Indian Entertainment in 2007 through a three-film co-production agreement (Ta Ra Rum Pum, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic and Roadside Romeo) with YRF. Disney's move was seen as a bid to increase its global clout and finally enter the increasingly lucrative Indian Cinema arena. The company offered a 49% acquisition of YRF at 2,500 crore (US$310 million)[31] (unadjusted for inflation) in 2009, which took the valuation of the Indian entertainment company to 5,000 crore (equivalent to 110 billion or US$1.3 billion in 2020),[32] at the time. YRF however declined the acquisition offer made by the American conglomerate.

In 2011, a 99% share acquisition offer by Disney was accepted by UTV at 2,000 crore (US$250 million)[33] (unadjusted for inflation). The two companies together established Disney UTV, that functioned as the Indian subsidiary of the American company. In December 2016, Disney announced that is restructuring its Indian operations and UTV will no longer produce movies and will focus only on distribution of its Hollywood films.[34]

As vice-chairman

The company saw an all-time low, with several of their high budgeted films not doing well at the box office, despite favourable critical reviews and the company thereby suffering losses amounting to millions from 2007 to 2010. The films broke YRF's perfect success ratio and were oddly released one after another. Some of the most unsuccessful films produced under the banner were Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Tashan, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, Roadside Romeo, and Pyaar Impossible. Chopra then took over as the Vice Chairman of Yash Raj Films in 2010, soon after the release of the film Badmaash Company under the same banner.[11]

2011 landmark deal

In 2011, the company took the critical decision of banking on the successes of 3 Idiots, Ra.One and Bodyguard and went into production of three individual mainstream films with Aamir Khan for Dhoom 3 (for which Chopra wrote the story), Shahrukh Khan for Jab Tak Hai Jaan (for which Chopra wrote the story, screenplay and dialogue) and with Salman Khan for Ek Tha Tiger (for which Chopra wrote the story) the first installment in the YRF Spy Universe, a feat that has never been achieved by any film production company to date. The move was seen as a landmark deal by YRF as it engaged three of the most successful box office actors of Indian Cinema in independent projects at the time. Moreover, the three films turned out to be the most expensive productions by YRF; Ek Tha Tiger was produced at 75 crore (US$9.4 million),[35] Jab Tak Hai Jaan was produced at 60 crore (US$7.5 million)[36] and Dhoom 3 was produced at 150 crore (US$19 million).[37]

Film Day of Release Screen Releases Distribution Budget Worldwide Gross
Ek Tha Tiger Eid (2012) 3,850 screens[38] YRF Distributors 75 crore (US$9.4 million)[35] 320 crore (US$40 million)[39]
Jab Tak Hai Jaan Diwali (2012) 3,100 screens[40] YRF Distributors 60 crore (US$7.5 million)[36] 241 crore (US$30 million)[41]
Dhoom 3 Christmas (2013) 5,250 screens[42] YRF Distributors 150 crore (US$19 million)[37] 542 crore (US$68 million)[43][44]

All three of these films shattered box office records of India and went on to become some of the highest-grossing films of their time. Ek Tha Tiger, which released on the 66th Independence Day of India, earned approximately 320 crore (US$40 million)[45] and thereby became the eleventh highest-grossing film of Indian Cinema.Jab Tak Hai Jaan opened worldwide on the Diwali day of 2012 and went on to earn 241 crore (US$30 million)[41] and became the fifteenth highest-grossing film in India. Dhoom 3 released in (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Arabic) on the Christmas week of 2013 and grossed approximately 542 crore (US$68 million),[46][47] in the worldwide market and went on to become the twelfth highest-grossing film of Indian cinema, as of January 2022.

As chairman

After the demise of his father Yash Chopra in October 2012, Aditya Chopra was elevated to the position of chairman and Chief Executive of the company's studio wing. The company went for a soft-launch on 3 January 2013.[citation needed]

The company received angel investment by institutional fund-raisers such as LIC of India, RNT Associates, PremjiInvest, Catamaran Ventures, Maruti Udyog and Unilazer Ventures. YRF was made open to Indian enterprises only and no FDI was accepted. Venture capitalists also showed interest with Adi Godrej, Y. C. Deveshwar, Kumar Birla, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Anand Mahindra, Chanda Kochhar, Sunil Mittal, Shikha Sharma and Uday Kotak investing undisclosed sums. YRF came out with more films, under the chairmanship of Chopra and the new management.[48]

Work with newcomers (Talent Management)

Apart from producing big-budgeted films with established actors, YRF also announced several films featuring relative newcomers in the fourth quarter of Fiscal year 2012; Aurangzeb starring Prithviraj Sukumaran, Sashaa Agha and Arjun Kapoor, Gunday starring Ranveer Singh, Bewakoofiyan starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Sonam Kapoor, Daawat-e-Ishq with Aditya Roy Kapoor, Mardaani with Rani Mukerji and Kill Dil starring Ali Zafar and Govinda.[49] The films released all through 2013 and 2014 were seen as a strategic move by the company to infuse newer talent into Indian cinema in the form of actors, screenwriters, directors and technicians. In a bid to break away from the traditional star system of Indian cinema, the company ventured into producing low-budgeted independent films with new talent (actors, creatives and technicians) from 2008. Apart from working with upcoming actors, the company independently launched several new faces as leading actors in several of their big-budgeted films through their home banner and through Y-Films,[50] including:

Talent Film Description Year Contract Status
Ranbir Kapoor Bachna Ae Haseeno Second film 2008
Deepika Padukone Bachna Ae Haseeno Second film (Hindi) 2008
Anushka Sharma Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Debut 2008 Existing [51]
Ranveer Singh Band Baaja Baaraat Debut 2010 Terminated [52]
Saqib Saleem Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge Debut 2011
Parineeti Chopra Ladies vs Ricky Bahl Debut 2011 Terminated [53]
Shraddha Kapoor Luv Ka The End Second film 2011 Terminated [54]
Arjun Kapoor Ishaqzaade Debut 2012 Existing [55]
Prithviraj Aurangzeb Second Film 2013
Sushant Singh Rajput Shuddh Desi Romance Second film 2013 Terminated [56]
Vaani Kapoor Shuddh Desi Romance Debut 2013 Existing [57]
Ayushmann Khurrana Bewakoofiyan Third film 2014 Existing [58]
Aditya Roy Kapur Daawat-e-Ishq Second film (as lead) 2014
Tahir Raj Bhasin Mardaani Debut 2014 Existing [59]
Bhumi Pednekar Dum Laga Ke Haisha Debut 2015 Existing [60]
Aadar Jain Qaidi Band Debut 2017 Terminated
Anya Singh Qaidi Band Debut 2017 Existing [61]
Fatima Sana Shaikh Thugs of Hindostan Second film 2018
Vishal Jethwa Mardaani 2 Debut 2019 Existing [62]
Sharvari Wagh Bunty Aur Babli 2 Debut 2021 Existing [63]
Siddhant Chaturvedi Bunty Aur Babli 2 Second film 2021
Shalini Pandey Jayeshbhai Jordaar Debut (Hindi) 2022 Existing [64]
Manushi Chhillar Samrat Prithviraj Debut 2022 Existing [65]
Junaid Khan Maharaja Debut 2023

YRF Entertainment

Sensing a keen following of Indian cinema in Japan during the Festival de Cannes, YRF Studios decided to re-release Ek Tha Tiger on 8 March 2013 and Jab Tak Hai Jaan on 20 April 2013 in an association with The Nikkatsu Corporation. The deal was further extended to the release of Dhoom 3 on 25 December 2013 during the MAMI Film Festival.[66]

In a bid to strengthen their foothold in the United States and the European market, the company established its international film producing leg; YRF Entertainment, which was solely focused on production and financing of international film content. The first film to independently release under the banner was the 2012 romantic comedy The Longest Week which starred Olivia Wilde, Jason Bateman and Billy Crudup. The film did moderately well in the worldwide box office and managed to break-even.[67]

The next film to be released under YRF Entertainment is The Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth. The film is co-produced by Arash Amel. Primary filming of the project is complete and the film is slated for a March 2014 release. The company also announced its maiden Anglo-Indian film project that would be co-produced by Mira Nair under the Mirabai Films banner and directed by Shimit Amin. In 2013, the company also announced its next venture, Seducing Ingrid Bergman based on the life of Ingrid Bergman, written by Chris Greenhalgh and Arash Amel.[68]

YRF South

YRF forayed into regional Indian film production in 2013, with Aaha Kalyanam, a remake of their 2010 critical and commercial blockbuster Band Baaja Baaraat starring Nani and debutant Vaani Kapoor. The Tamil-Telugu bilingual project would be directed by Gokul Krishna and produced by Chopra. YRF plans to launch both the lead actress and director with this film. The untitled film completed the first schedule of its principal photography in Chennai in May 2013, with the next two schedules to be held in Hyderabad and Mysore in July 2013. Moreover, the studio also released Tamil and Telugu versions of its Dhoom 3 for the South Indian market. The company plans to deliver remakes from its existing catalog as well as new and original regional content (in Tamil and Telugu), but also content that is set to break into other regional film markets (Malayalam and Tulu) of the south.[69]

Career as studio executive

Chopra has produced several commercially viable projects including off-beat content not necessarily fitting into the realm of "masala films". Chopra is the first to move towards the film studio model through independent projects helmed by talent under his banner.[70] Major post-production work of the company is completed at YRF Studios (co-founded by his ex-wife Payal Khanna), where Chopra serves as Chief Executive.[71] In December 2009, Chopra fought a $3.7 billion hostile takeover bid by Disney, post its acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel.[31] YRF continued as a domestic entity aided by the Tata Sons, as Disney acquired UTV at $500 million.[72] This was followed by the exits of Dick Cook from Disney[73][74][75] and Sanjeev Kohli from YRF.[76][77] In January 2019, YRF reached a $9.1 billion valuation by SEBI, thereby making it the largest film production company in the history of Indian Cinema; Disney exited all Indian film operations and was liquidated the same year.[78][79][80]

The Government of India appealed both Chopra and Mani Ratnam to focus on content created locally under its Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives. In June 2018, he was awarded membership into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by the Producers Guild of America.[81] Apart from emerging as an equitable brand, his company earned the status of a movie mogul through distribution networks spread across the globe.[82] In May 2020, Chopra refused licensing deals with Amazon, Netflix, and with Apple TV+ opting for traditional film exhibition.[83] YRF finalised plans to launch its own OTT service with Tata ELXSI the same year.[84][85][86]

Legal issues

Ghajini

Photographers of the Indian media caught a glimpse of the extremely reclusive Chopra on 27 December 2008. Chopra's Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Aamir Khan's Ghajini were the two big Indian releases of the year 2008 and were pitted against each other by the Press; Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was to release on Diwali and Ghajini was to release on Christmas, with a gap of a few weeks between them. Chopra was present at a private screening of Ghajini that was held by Khan, for members of the film industry. Chopra was seen leaving through the back entrance of the theatre premise around 2 AM, just before the end credits of the film. On spotting multiple journalists outside the venue, he reportedly panicked and desperately sprinted towards his car to avoid being photographed. Chopra pulled down the sun visor of his car and hid inside it as he drove away. He even dropped his phone and damaged it, in the process. Images of a scared and petrified Chopra covering his face with his arms became front-page news of a leading Indian tabloid. The article called Chopra a very powerful man, behaving like a trapped animal, even though it carried a statement by "one of his close friends" who called him a simple, introverted guy. The event however fuelled further reports of Chopra having an alleged social anxiety disorder and/or APD.[87]

Son of Sardar

In 2012, Ajay Devgan, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Eros International together moved the Competition Commission of India against Yash Raj Films and Aditya Chopra, accusing the company of using monopolistic business practices and rampantly abusing their dominant position and clout in the Entertainment Industry of India by entering into a tie-in arrangement with 1,500 single screen film exhibitors (out of a total of 2,100) of India, that obliged them to showcase the company's Jab Tak Hai Jaan (and not Son of Sardar) on the Diwali week of 2012 and continue its theatrical run for two weeks after the worldwide release. The trio eventually moved the Competition Appellate Tribunal on 30 October 2012 against YRF but were turned down by the bench heading the Tribunal.

Both films opened on 13 November 2012; Jab Tak Hai Jaan released on 3500 screens and Son of Sardar released on 2000 screens, in the worldwide market. However, in November 2013, the CCI dismissed the case filing as they found YRF to not be in contravention of the Competition Act of India; YRF won the case.[88]

Raees

Raees was a film produced by Excel Entertainment and Red Chillies Entertainment helmed by Rahul Dholakia. Principal photography of the film was completed in April 2015 and a few months were allotted to its post-production work.[89] A teaser/trailer of the film was released across social media platforms and attached to Bajrangi Bhaijaan on 17 July 2015 announcing it as a 5 July 2016 release; packaged and presented as an Eid project.[90] However, sensing an opportunity in the same period, YRF went ahead to green-light its own Sultan, slated for release on the same day, in January 2016. Principal photography with Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma was completed in 3 months followed by post-production work being completed in May.[91] A teaser/trailer and other marketing material featuring both Khan and Sharma were released simultaneously starting in April across platforms and networks. The film was ready for a 5 July release and as a result, around 4230 theatre screens available in India would have been divided among the two films.[92]

Realising a loss in business to both films, Ritesh Sidhwani and Shahrukh Khan, the producers of Raees approached Chopra to work out a settlement to ensure both projects are exhibited comfortably across centres.[93] However, Chopra disagreed to shift his release date stating the poor performance of Khan's prior releases (Happy New Year, Dilwale and Fan) in the global box office.[94] Moreover, Chopra ensured that YRF Distributors (his film distribution leg) exhibit Sultan to more than 3100 screens (out of the total 4230), apparently abusing his dominant position and clout in the Entertainment Industry of India, an allegation that he has battled several times in the past.

Sultan eventually released on 6 July 2016, as planned by YRF, across 4310 Indian screens and 1130 screens internationally, to gross 501 crore (US$63 million) in the worldwide market[95] and Raees was postponed to 26 January 2017, scheduled to release alongside Kaabil on the same day.[96]

Paani

In November 2012, YRF green-lit their first Indian-American war drama co-production titled Paani with DreamWorks Pictures.[97] The film was to be helmed by Shekhar Kapur and Sushant Singh Rajput was signed for the lead role in December of the same year.[98] Principal photography was to start in June 2013, and it was planned as a December 2015 release by both Chopra and Kapur.[99] A. R. Rahman was roped in to score the music of the film and pre-production work started in January 2013 with the entire cast and crew at YRF Studios.[100]

In February 2013, Sanjay Leela Bhansali offered the lead role in his Shakespearean romantic-tragedy Ram-Leela, which was scheduled to be shot throughout the year 2013.[101] Chopra, however, advised Rajput to turn down the role to focus solely on Paani and led Bhansali to sign Ranveer Singh (through YRF Talent) instead.[102] In November 2013, Chopra shelved Paani stating the poor financial performance of Rajput's Shuddh Desi Romance and affordability issues faced by YRF during pre-production work.[103] Ram-Leela meanwhile opened to overwhelming critical and box office success in the same period with both Bhansali and Singh being awarded extensively for their work.[104]

Rajput was later signed for another independent YRF projects; Detective Byomkesh Bakshy scheduled to release in April 2015.

Pathaan

On 12 December 2022, YRF released a song from the fourth project of its spy universe titled Besharam Rang across all media platforms. Picturised on Deepika Padukone and Shahrukh Khan in the outskirts of Benicàssim, the song was written by Vishal–Shekhar and Kumaar. Choreography and direction was by Vaibhavi Merchant.[105] A few days after release of the song, it started gaining criticism among right-wing ideologists for its lyrics, Padukone's appearance in a saffron bikini, and Khan's appearance in green trousers. A boycott call on Twitter by the name "BoycottPathaan"[106][107] began to trend with a section of users calling the visuals “vulgar” and "infuriating".[108]

On 18 January 2023 however, two days before YRF opened advance booking of the film's tickets across theatres, the Prime Minister of India sent out a warning[109] to the workers of his political party to "strictly refrain from making comments on films". It was the first-ever public statement strategically released by the PMO[110] to safeguard the release of a film in India. Followingly, the state governments of Gujarat and Assam assured theatre owners protection and assurance that protestors will be strictly prosecuted.[111][112][113] On 24 January 2023, a day before the release of the film, the Vishva Hindu Parishad released a statement to its members that they were "satisfied" with the certification of the film and assured that all protests will be ceased.[114]

At the time of the statement, Pathaan was slated to be screened in 5500+ movie theatres in India[115][116] and 2500+ movie theatres in more than 100 countries internationally[117][118] thereby making it the most widely released Indian film in history.[119][120]

Personal life

He was married to Payal Khanna, until their divorce in 2009. The couple had no children. On 21 April 2014, he married actress Rani Mukerji in a private wedding ceremony in Italy.[121] In December 2015, Rani gave birth to their daughter Adira Chopra.[122]

He has remained extremely media-shy and a passive individual, battling constant reports of an alleged dysthymic disorder throughout his three-decade career, resulting in very few public photos of him being in existence.[123]

Filmography

Further information: List of films by Yash Raj Films

Year Film Credited as Notes
Director Producer Writer Distributor
1989 Chandni Third AD No No No 1 National Award, 1 Filmfare Award
1991 Lamhe No Executive No No 1 National Award, 5 Filmfare Awards
1993 Parampara No Executive No No
Aaina Second AD No No No 1 Filmfare Award
Darr First AD No Story No 1 National Award, 2 Filmfare Awards
1995 Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge Yes No Yes No 1 National Award, 10 Filmfare Awards, Top Grosser
1997 Dil To Pagal Hai No Yes Dialogue No 3 National Awards, 8 Filmfare Awards, Top Grosser
1998 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai No No No Yes Karan Johar debut [124] (Top Grosser)
1999 Biwi No.1 No No No Yes [125]
Mann No No No Yes [126]
2000 Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai No No No Yes Hrithik Roshan debut [127]
Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge No No No Yes [128]
Refugee No No No Yes Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor debut [129]
Mohabbatein Yes No Yes No Jimmy Sheirgill debut (4 Filmfare Awards, Top Grosser)
2001 Zubeidaa No No No Yes [130]
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham No No No Yes Top Grosser[131]
2002 Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai No Yes No Yes Sanjay Gadhvi debut
Mujhse Dosti Karoge! No Yes Story Yes Kunal Kohli debut
Saathiya No Yes No Yes Vivek Oberoi, Shaad Ali debut (6 Filmfare Awards)
2003 Koi... Mil Gaya No No No Yes [132]
Maqbool No No No Yes [133]
Kal Ho Naa Ho No No No Yes Nikhil Advani debut, Top Grosser
2004 Hum Tum No Yes No Yes 1 National Award, 5 Filmfare Awards
Dhoom No Yes Story Yes 2 Filmfare Awards
Veer-Zaara No Yes Yes Yes 1 National Award, 4 Filmfare Awards, Top Grosser
2005 Black No No No Yes [134]
My Brother…Nikhil No No No Yes Onir debut [135]
Bunty Aur Babli No Yes Story Yes 2 Filmfare Awards
Mangal Pandey: The Rising No No No Yes [136]
Salaam Namaste No Yes No Yes Siddharth Anand debut
Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara No No No Yes [137]
Neal 'N' Nikki No Yes No Yes Arjun Sablok debut [138]
2006 Fanaa No Yes Yes Yes 3 Filmfare Awards
Krrish No No No Yes [139]
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna No No No Yes [140]
Dhoom 2 No Yes Story Yes 1 Filmfare Award, Top Grosser
Kabul Express No Yes No Yes Kabir Khan debut (1 National Award)
2007 Ta Ra Rum Pum No Yes No Yes
Chak De! India No Yes No Yes 1 National Award, 2 Filmfare Awards
Laaga Chunari Mein Daag No Yes No Yes
Aaja Nachle No Yes Story Yes Anil Mehta debut
2008 Tashan No Yes No Yes Vijay Krishna Acharya debut
Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic No Yes No Yes
Bachna Ae Haseeno No Yes Story Yes
Roadside Romeo No Yes No Yes Jugal Hansraj debut, 1 National Award
Dostana No No No Yes Tarun Mansukhani debut[141]
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Yes Yes Yes No Anushka Sharma debut (2 Filmfare Awards)
2009 New York No Yes Story Yes
Dil Bole Hadippa! No Yes No Yes
All the Best No No No Yes [142]
Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year No Yes No Yes 1 Filmfare Award
2010 Badmaash Company No Yes No Yes Parmeet Sethi debut
Lafangey Parindey No Yes No Yes
Band Baaja Baaraat No Yes No Yes Ranveer Singh, Maneesh Sharma debut (2 Filmfare Awards)
2011 Mere Brother Ki Dulhan No Yes No Yes Ali Abbas Zafar debut
Ladies VS Ricky Bahl No Yes Story Yes Parineeti Chopra debut (1 Filmfare Award)
2012 Ishaqzaade No Yes Story Yes Arjun Kapoor debut (1 National Award, 1 Filmfare Award)
Ek Tha Tiger No Yes Story Yes Top Grosser, Spy Universe (Project 1)[143]
Jab Tak Hai Jaan No Yes Yes Yes 4 Filmfare Awards
2013 Aurangzeb No Yes No Yes Atul Sabharwal debut [144]
Shuddh Desi Romance No Yes No Yes Vaani Kapoor debut (1 Filmfare Award)
Dhoom 3 No Yes Story Yes 1 Filmfare Award, Top Grosser
2014 Gunday No Yes No Yes 1 Filmfare Award
Bewakoofiyaan No Yes No Yes Nupur Asthana debut
Mardaani No Yes No Yes Tahir Raj Bhasin debut (1 Filmfare Award)
Daawat-e-Ishq No Yes No Yes
Happy New Year No No No Yes [145]
Kill Dil No Yes No Yes
2015 Dum Laga Ke Haisha No Executive No Yes Bhumi Pednekar, Sharat Katariya debut (1 National Award, 2 Filmfare Awards)
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! No Executive No Yes
Piku No No No Yes [146]
Titli No Executive No Yes Shashank Arora, Shivani Raghuvanshi, Kanu Behl debut (Caméra d'Or)
2016 Fan No Yes No Yes 1 Filmfare Award
Sultan No Yes No Yes 1 Filmfare Award
Befikre Yes Yes Yes No
2017 Meri Pyaari Bindu No Executive No Yes
Tubelight No No No Yes [147]
Jab Harry Met Sejal No No No Yes [148]
Qaidi Band No Yes No Yes Anya Singh debut
Ittefaq No No No Yes Abhay Chopra debut, B. R. Studios comeback [149]
Tiger Zinda Hai No Yes Story Yes 1 Filmfare Award, Top Grosser, Spy Universe (Project 2) [150]
2018 Hichki No Executive No Yes
Sui-Dhaaga No Executive No Yes
Thugs of Hindostan No Yes No Yes
Zero No No No Yes [151]
2019 War No Yes Story Yes 3 Filmfare Awards, Top Grosser, Spy Universe (Project 3) [152]
Mardaani 2 No Yes No Yes Vishal Jethwa, debut
Dabangg 3 No No No Yes [153]
2021 Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar No Executive No Yes 1 Filmfare Award
Bunty Aur Babli No Yes Story Yes Sharvari Wagh debut, 1 Filmfare Award
2022 Jersey No No No Yes [154]
Runway 34 No No No Yes [154]
Jayeshbhai Jordaar No Executive No Yes Shalini Pandey debut, Divyang Thakkar debut
Samrat Prithviraj No Yes No Yes Manushi Chhillar debut
Rocketry No No No Yes Madhavan debut [155]
Shamshera No Yes No Yes
Uunchai No No No Yes Rajshri Productions 75 years [156]
Drishyam No No No Yes Abhishek Pathak debut [157]
Vadh No No No Yes [158]
2023 Kuttey No No No Yes Aasmaan Bhardwaj debut [159]
Pathaan No Yes Story Yes Yash Raj Films 50 years,[160] Spy Universe (Project 4),[161] Filmed on IMAX[162]
Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar No No No Yes [163]
Tiger 3 No Yes Story Yes Yash Raj Films 50 years,[164] Spy Universe (Project 5) [165]
TBA TGIF No Executive No Yes [166]
Maharaja No Yes No Yes Junaid Khan debut [167]
Dhoom No Yes Story Yes [168]
Untitled Project Yes Yes Yes No Spy Universe (Final Project) [169][170][171][172]

Theatrical release exclusively [173][174]

See also

References

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Further reading

Media related to Aditya Chopra at Wikimedia Commons

Filmfare Award for Best Story