Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt (the Munna Bhai franchise, ‘Vaastav’, ‘Khal Nayak’) launches production company Three Dimension Motion Pictures in a bid to bring back the golden age of heroism in the industry.
Dutt cites the recent pan-India box office success of South Indian film “Pushpa” and the films of “Baahubali” filmmaker SS Rajamouli as examples of the larger-than-life heroism vanished in Bollywood.
“We’re trying to reclaim what we had, what South Indian films are doing now,” Dutt said. Variety. “When we entered the film industry, we started with heroism, heroic roles, mass love and everything, and I saw that stop. And I’m trying to revive that.
Dutt, 62, the son of respected actors-turned-politicians Sunil and Nargis Dutt, made his debut with “Rocky” (1981), at a time when the leading men of mainstream Indian cinema were written as a full heroic ensemble. In today’s Bollywood, this genre is reduced to a niche, or a “little hole” as Dutt describes it.
“What Denzel Washington, Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson are doing in Hollywood – I think there’s a little gap missing here. I’m trying to reclaim that gap, from a hero at that age, who can perform and who can fight and who can stand up for themselves,” Dutt says.
“The Golden Age – it just can’t die. Even if you look at Hollywood, it exists there, and in the South. I don’t know what happened to Bollywood. But that’s what we’re trying to reclaim – those days of heroism,” adds Dutt.
Three Dimension is preparing a slate that includes horror-comedy “The Virgin Tree,” which will be directed by Sidhaant Sachdev, who has experience in television, music video and assistance and will debut with a cast of four newcomers. Principal photography begins in May.
The rest of the list is yet to be titled, but includes family drama, action movies with younger actors, and other action movies with a mature man as the hero.
“I won’t play in all of them, but in some of them,” says Dutt. “I would like to relax as a producer, after 40 years in the industry – to be on the sets on the other side. It will be an experience for me, I have never been in this chair before. impatiently.”
While the Three Dimension slate also includes series for streaming platforms, the films are all intended for theatrical release. “I believe in the big screen – I know it can never be extinguished,” says Dutt. “I know that OTT [streaming] is an important part of cinema today. But I know that the cinemas will eventually open up and there will be films only for cinemas.
Dutt blames the vanished heroism of Bollywood squarely on the costumes. “I feel like this whole corporate structure that’s just encroaching on our space in Bollywood has ruined everything. ‘interfere with the director for his creation, nor with the actors or to give their opinion on a content or a scenario, when [they] have no idea, when it’s none of their business,” Dutt says.
“Their business is financing and that’s where the business stops. But once you start interfering with the script, the direction, the budgets and this and that, things get messy, and that’s why I think we lost a lot of good stuff during that time,” Dutt adds. “Whereas in the South this corporate structure does not exist. There are people who, from the production or the producer, to the director, to everyone involved in the crew…they are passionate about making good movies and that’s what has worked for them. And that went against us because that passion to make movies or that passion to do something big and to work and play is gone. Who I think will come back. At least in my business it will come back.
As an actor, Dutt has several films delayed due to the release of COVID-19, including the historical “Prithviraj” alongside Akshay Kumar, the period action drama “Shamshera” with Ranbir Kapoor and the crime drama “KGF: Chapter 2”, the sequel to the 2018 Kannada-language film that became an all-India blockbuster.
Dutt’s own life was colorful enough to be adapted as a Bollywood film, and it is. A popular actor from the 1980s to the present day, Dutt has also gone through a period of drug addiction, endured multiple bereavements, and overcome cancer. From 1993 to 2016, Dutt was in and out of prison for possessing weapons during the 1993 Bombay bombings.
“I served time in prison and faced it and got out. And I was welcomed by my film industry, and it’s absolutely my family, and it’s always great how they supported me and they still support me,” Dutt says. “And then it was this phase of cancer, which I came out of. And I’m fine.
While the actor had a string of hits behind him, Rajkumar Hirani’s “Munna Bhai MBBS” (2003) and its sequel “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” (2006), produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, endeared Dutt to a whole family. new generation of fans. Dutt plays the genius rogue Munna Bhai, who ends up being an inadvertent benefactor and Arshad Warsi plays his trusty sidekick Circuit. The movies have been hugely successful and fans are clamoring for a third movie.
Dutt says he asked Hirani and Chopra several times about Part Three and suggested that since he and Warsi are now older, the script reflects that. “They are thinking and God willing it will happen,” Dutt says.
Hirani directed the biopic “Sanju” in 2018 with Ranbir Kapoor playing Dutt.
“It was an amazing and very emotional journey for me to watch the movie, and I love how Raju portrayed all the characters in the movie, and he wrote it so well, but there’s still so much to say” , says Dutt. “You can’t tell in two hours and 30 minutes. And there are so many chapters in my life that can teach the younger generation or inspire them – it can be both. And I wish someone could make a huge series out of it. I’m not saying a great life journey – I don’t want anyone going through what I’ve been through. But it’s definitely a learning process for the younger generation to hear this story.
So would Three Dimension be the logical home for a streaming series about Dutt’s life? “You put that seed in my head, I’ll think about it now,” Dutt said.