Tall tabloid tales

Published On: 2013-04-12

Author: Bharathi S. Pradhan

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Tall tabloid tales


Source: Telegraph India 

Date: March 25, 2007  


The buzz this week in the film industry centred around the abrupt cancellation of the Rs 30-crore deal between Hrithik Roshan and Adlabs-Reliance. The story in a tabloid even gave it authenticity by quoting Manmohan Shetty of Adlabs who steadfastly maintained that he had never confirmed such a deal in the first place, and, if the Roshans had talked about it, then go and check with them. I did. 


For years, one has known Rakesh Roshan to be a very cautious man. Ditto for Hrithik who, like his dad, goes by the book and will never confirm a deal unless it is signed and sealed. It would be completely out of character for either of them to open their mouths prematurely. Here’s emphatic proof that the whopping contract had been signed and delivered to Hrithik. During a meeting early this year, I’d asked him what he was going to do with so much money. Hrithik Roshan had, firstly, confirmed that Rs 30 crore was the correct figure on the contract and had then remarked, “It is a deal for three films, those films have to first go on the floors and get made. Only then would I have earned the money.” 


In other words, he had got the money but would consider it earned only after he had delivered as an actor. I had also observed aloud that his deal had pushed up star prices all around, to which Hrithik’s swift reply had been, “I think nobody will part with his money foolishly. I have become the focus, the centre of attention, because I am the first one who has been offered that price. But very soon it will become the norm and it will stop looking so outstanding.” 


However, Hrithik himself had done a double take when the offer had initially been made to him. He sportingly admitted, “I thought they were joking. I’m not very conversant with the marketability, money, prices and the commercial aspect of films. I’ve always left that to my dad, he’s a genius at it. My dad explained how the market was moving, he told me that it was not an offer to be surprised by.” It’s inconceivable that such a deep discussion could have taken place between Hrithik Roshan and me if there had been even a milligram of doubt over its validity. Which is why the story this week that the deal had been called off, caused a stir. 


But the truth is that Rakesh Roshan, who is currently in Khandala working on a new film that he will be producing but not directing, was himself surprised to learn that the deal had ostensibly fallen through. “That’s news to me,” he laughed. “We too came to know about it only from the tabloid story. If Hrithik confirmed the deal to you, he was absolutely right. There is a deal with Adlabs and it has not fallen through.” 


Once again, the media loses its credibility by turning a rumour into a story with a quote thrown in to back it up. The deal with Hrithik thus stands. But the deep pockets of the corporates that’ve come into the film industry are not emptying themselves in a hurry. They are doing a serious rethink over playing blind with astronomical stakes on big star names.