‘Dus’ to ‘Time Machine’: 12 Shelved Indian Movies That Could Have Been BlockbustersDecember 3, 2023
Among the multitude of movies announced annually, only a select few successfully make their way to the audience. It is not just films featuring lesser-known actors but also those starring renowned superstars that have faced cancellations for various reasons. Below, we present 12 noteworthy movies involving superstars and esteemed filmmakers that were initially announced or rumored, but ultimately got shelved, leaving fans curious about their fate.
Shelved Indian Movies That Could Have Been Blockbusters
The film, featuring Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Raveena Tandon, and Shilpa Shetty, had completed around 40% of its shooting before it was abandoned. The untimely death of the movie’s director, Mukul Anand, led to its cancellation. However, a few songs, including the popular “Suno Gaur Se,” were later released and became instant hits. During an interview, Raahul S Anand, Mukul Anand’s brother, revealed that Mukul had filmed an extraordinary climax for the movie “Dus,” which greatly impressed Ramesh Sippy.
2. Time Machine
The highly acclaimed Indian filmmaker had been set to direct an exceptional cast including Aamir Khan, Raveena Tandon, Gulshan Grover, Naseeruddin Shah, Rekha, Amrish Puri, and Vijay Anand in a captivating time travel film titled “Time Machine.” According to information available on Wikipedia, the movie was reportedly inspired by the popular Hollywood time-travel blockbuster “Back to the Future.” The storyline revolves around a son (Aamir Khan) who utilizes a time machine to journey back in time in search of his parents (Naseeruddin Shah and Rekha). Despite nearing completion, the film encountered financial difficulties. Due to these financial constraints and the filmmaker’s relocation to the United States, the project unfortunately had to be shelved.
3. Koochie Koochie Hota Hai
Tarun, renowned for directing the 2008 hit film “Dostana,” made an exciting announcement regarding his new project for Dharma Productions—an animated film titled “Koochie Koochie Hota Hai.” This movie offered an animated twist to Karan Johar’s beloved film “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,” featuring dogs and other animals in place of humans. It was anticipated that Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, and Rani Mukherji would lend their voices to their respective characters in this animated adaptation. Despite the release of a trailer by the filmmakers, unfortunately, the movie failed to materialize and was not eventually released.
Following the tremendous success of films like “Hero” and “Karma,” Subhash Ghai embarked on a new venture alongside Amitabh Bachchan. The film, titled “Devaa,” showcased a conflict between Big B and Liliput, who portrayed the main antagonist. Additionally, the movie boasted the presence of Shammi Kapoor and Meenakshi Sheshadri. Unfortunately, a mere two weeks into production, the project was abandoned. Numerous reports suggest that Amitabh Bachchan and Subhash Ghai experienced a fallout due to creative differences.
5. Raju Raja Ram
Another star-studded film in the works was “Raju Raja Ram,” a comedy directed by David Dhawan. This ensemble cast featured Jackie Shroff, Govinda, Salman Khan, and Manisha Koirala in prominent roles. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the film, which was being produced by Jackie Shroff, had to be canceled.
Due to issues with the Censor Board, the fully completed movie faced difficulties in securing a proper release date. Despite being intended as Anurag Kashyap’s debut, the dark thriller faced objections from the Censor Board due to its excessive violence. Despite Anurag’s efforts, the film failed to obtain approval from the board. Eventually, “Paanch” leaked online, gaining recognition as one of Anurag’s finest works.
“Talisman,” a film starring Amitabh Bachchan and directed by Ram Madhvani, was based on the Indian epic “Chandrakanta.” Ram Madhvani, known for his successful projects like “Neerja” and “Arya,” even released a one-and-a-half-minute teaser for the film. However, it was later abandoned, and in an interview, Madhvani confirmed that he had no plans to revive the project.
Hailed as Kamal Haasan’s most ambitious undertaking, the movie generated significant anticipation. Queen Elizabeth even participated in the film’s 1997 launch. Based on the real-life 18th-century warrior Mohammed Yusuf Khan, the film was shelved due to Kamal Haasan’s lack of funds.
9. Munna Bhai Chale America
Following the success of “Lage Raho Munna Bhai,” Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra swiftly decided to begin work on the franchise’s third installment, titled “Munna Bhai Chale America.” The movie was intended to showcase how Munna and Circuit teach the President of America about Gandhigiri. A trailer was even shot. However, around the same time, Karan Johar announced his plans to release “My Name is Khan.” Unfortunately, KJo’s script was found to be too similar to Hirani’s concept, resulting in the abandonment of the project.
Did you know that Mira Nair’s film “Shantaram” was initially set to feature both Amitabh Bachchan and Johnny Depp in 2007? However, due to various reasons, the project was put on hold. Fortunately, Apple TV+ later revived the concept and transformed it into a web series.
11. Let’s Kill Veerappan
Conceived by RGV (Ram Gopal Varma), the movie was originally planned to be directed by Shimit Amin, known for his work on the film “Chak De India.” The announcement of this project was made in 2004, with the storyline revolving around three friends who devise a plan to capture the notorious criminal Veerappan. However, after a few months of shooting, Veerappan was killed, rendering the plot irrelevant. Consequently, the filmmakers made the decision to shelve the movie.
12. Xtreme City
Back in 2011, there were rumors circulating that Shah Rukh Khan and Leonardo DiCaprio would be collaborating on a film titled “Xtreme City.” Reports suggested that Shah Rukh Khan would portray a gangster character while Leonardo would play a cop.
In an interview with PTI, Mushtaq Sheikh, the writer of the film stated, “It’s a different kind of film, one where both Indian and American protagonists are balanced human beings and the story treats them in their full complexity without either culture being diminished or taken for granted. It’s a cross-cultural thriller designed for both Bollywood and Hollywood. And if we get it right, (then) this will be an attempt at true global entertainment.” The movie never saw the light of day and later Leo’s team even denied signing any such movie.
These movies would have definitely been blockbusters. What do you think?