Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is known for living life at his own terms and no one other than his parents, Dad Salim Khan in particular, has been able to influence his actions unreasonably.
It was, therefore, natural for his fans to wait anxiously for his next course of action when Priyanka Chopra abruptly walked out of his mega project Bharat last week. Even though Bharat’s director, Ali Abbas Zafar, made desperate attempts to make light of the crisis, the producer of the film wasn’t willing to take the route of political correctness in his reaction.
Calling her action as ‘unprofessional,’ Nikhil Namit, CEO of Reel Life Productions, minced no words in slamming the Quantico star. “Priyanka told us she had to exit due to her engagement, two days ago. It was a little unprofessional of her to do it so suddenly,” Namit told an entertainment website.
As it turned out, her reported engagement with Nick Jonas was never a reason for Priyanka to quit Salman’s film, which is slated to hit theatres next year’s Eid. The day, Ali Abbas Zafar, made us believe that Priyanka had walked out of Bharat owing to personal reasons (read engagement), Roy Kapur Films had posted a video of her with Farhan Akhtar announcing how the Desi Girl had commenced her shooting for The Sky is Pink.
That was really like adding insult to injury since the Bharat director confessed that the shooting for the film was in full swing when Priyanka dropped the bombshell. But, trust Salman to return the favour in equal measure in the face of a betrayal. As everyone kept guessing who Priyanka’s replacement will be, the Tiger Zinda Hai star took to Instagram to announce Katrina’s arrival in the team Bharat. Salman welcomed her in style as he wrote, “Ek sundar aur shusheel ladki jiska Naam hai @katrinakaif …. swagat hai aapka #Bharat ki zindagi mein (One beautiful and affable whose name is Katrina Kaif, I welcome you in Bharat’s life.)”
Salman’s emphasis on beautiful and affable while describing Katrina was his way of giving back to Priyanka for her betrayal. It was as if to say, ‘who cares if you have left the film. I have a better option.”
The announcement has already a wave of excitement among Salman Khan fans, who gave their instant approval to his decision. One fan wrote, “It was lacking movie in, Which is now completed’ upon its arrival. And now the budget of the movie will be double And this film will earn 350cr comfortably.” “he way @beingsalmankhan announce @katrinakaif ??? a lot of love and respect.” wrote another fan. One user wrote, “Imagine being that much powerful that u can just name katrina as your heroine and she just can say no instead she would jump up from her bed and say yessss salman chose me.”
Bollywood insiders on Sunday had rubbished media reports claiming that Priyanka had quit the film with Salman because of her engagement with Nick Jonas. A report by DNA said that Priyanka’s original expectation from Bharat was a fee of Rs 13-14 crore. She was hoping to get at least Rs 12 crore.
“However, in the case of Bharat, she was allegedly being paid Rs 6.5 cr. Yet, she seemed unhappy with this arrangement,” said the report adding that Priyanka even raised the issue with her close friends within the Khan family.
The report quoted a source as saying, “However, the price she was to be paid was deliberated and decided on after checking the viability factor. After all, even her last outing Jai Gangaajal (2016) wasn’t anything to write home about. And paying her the double-digit figure, which she was reportedly asking for, would not be prudent.”
Priyanka was also not happy with the addition of two female casts Disha Patani and Nora Fatehi in the film. Salman himself had taken to social media earlier this year to announce the addition of Disha. While taking to Instagram, Salman had written, “Welcome @DishaPatani to the journey of @Bharat_TheFilm :)”