COVID-19 Vs Bollywood

Coronavirus (COVID-19). With the world at a standstill because of Covid-19, India's Hindi film industry is seeing abandoned film sets, closed cinemas and movie stars with empty diaries. BBC Asian Network's Haroon Rashid reports on the impact on Bollywood.

With the world at a standstill because of Covid-19 India’s Hindi film industry is seeing abandoned film sets, closed cinemas and movie stars with empty diaries. The Covid-19 has halted the filming and release of many anticipated ‘Blockbusters.’ Theatres were the first one to be closed and would be the last one to reopen as it comes under the non-essential category.

How has the Coronavirus effected Bollywood?

Here is a list of events, releases and shootings which have been postponed:

1. Sooryawanshi

Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Sooryavanshi’ was scheduled to hit the screens on March 24, but the makers announced that the film has been postponed. Coronavirus outbreak has led to several states shutting theatres, which could affect the film’s box office collection. In an official statement Akshay shared, “Sooryavanshi is an experience that we have created for you with over a year of dedication and hard work, and the response we received for its trailer was nothing less than electrifying and made it clear that this film truly belongs to its audience… We have been as excited as you are to present the film to you and your family, but due to the recent outburst of the COVID – 19 (Coronavirus), we, the makers, have decided to postpone the release of your film Sooryavanshi, keeping in mind the health and safety of our beloved audience… And therefore, Sooryavanshi will be back for you just when the time is right… After all, safety comes first… Until then, keep the excitement alive, take good care of yourself and stay strong… We shall pull through this… -Team SOORYAVANSHI.”

2. Angrezi Medium

Starring Irrfan Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Radhika Madan, Angrezi Medium was billed as Khan’s brilliant comeback into films after his ongoing fight with cancer. It released last Thursday on March 13 and garnered glowing reviews and was hailed for Khan’s superb acting, but the film wasn’t allowed to gather steam as cinemas in the UAE and India were abruptly closed. Director Homi Adjania took to Twitter to announce that he will re-release his labour of love again when “it’s safe” in India. “At midnight all theatres will close across India till the authorities give us further notice. We will release #Angrezi Medium when it is safe to do so.”, adding the hashtag #Johaisohai which means ‘It is what it is”.

3. ‘Radhe’ Shoot Cancelled

Salman Khan is busy shooting for ‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ and recently cancelled an international schedule of the film. Reports stated that Salman and Disha were to shoot a song and action sequence in Azerbaijan but following the Coronavirus health scare, the same was cancelled. Directed by Prabhudheva, ‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ is scheduled to hit the screens during Eid this year.

4. Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar

Directed by Dibakar Banerjee and produced by Yash Raj Films, this film starring Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor was scheduled to release on March 19 in the UAE cinemas and a day later in India. But due to Covid-19 health scare, the makers have decided to postpone its release. It’s Chopra and Kapoor’s third collaboration after their 2012 debut Ishaaqzaade and 2018 romantic comedy Namaste England.

5. ‘83’ launch event called off

Coronavirus has been doing some serious damage to Bollywood. Beyond films being postponed and shoots getting cancelled, the outbreak also led to the cancellation of a trailer launch event. According to a news portal, the makers of Ranveer Singh starrer ‘83 were planning a massive trailer launch event in Mumbai but cancelled the same amidst the Coronavirus scare, since everyone has been advised to avoid crowded
places. It was planned to be a starry launch but seems like fans will have to wait for this one.

6. Jersey

Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor announced on Twitter that he has cancelled the filming of his sports drama ‘Jersey’ in which he plays a failed cricketer. “At a time like this it is our social responsibility to do everything in our capacity to curb the spread of this virus. Team #Jersey is suspending shoot so as to enable all unit members to be with their families and in the safety of their homes. Be responsible. Stay safe,” Kapoor posted on Twitter. The movie was scheduled to release in August.

7. Karan Johar’s Takht Shoot Cancelled

After Salman Khan called off ‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ shoot, Karan Johar’s ‘Takht’ was also affected because of the same reason. The period saga was to be shot in Jaipur and Jaisalmer; however its schedule was cancelled because of the health scare. ‘Takht’ stars an ensemble cast of Ranveer Singh, Vicky Kaushal, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt, Janhvi Kapoor, Bhumi Pednekar and Anil Kapoor.

8. Salman Khan puts his US tour on hold

Salman Khan is also taking care against the Coronavirus scare. The actor not just cancelled the international schedule of ‘Radhe’ but also put on hold his annual concert tour to the US and Canada. Organised by Sohail Khan, Salman was to perform in Atlanta, New Jersey, Detroit, Boston, Toronto, Dallas, Houston, San Jose, and Seattle next month, but the same stands cancelled for now. “It is not advisable to travel right now. We will announce fresh dates once the scare subsides,” Salman Khan’s team had confirmed to Mumbai Mirror.

9. Hrithik Roshan postpones US tour

Hrithik Roshan was all set to fly out to US next month to greet his fans there in a nine-day long tour. However the actor decided to postpone his plans in wake of the Coronavirus outburst. Hrithik was to travel to Chicago, New Jersey, Dallas, San Jose, Washington and Atlanta as part of his tour that was to start from April 10. “Hrithik and the organisers will figure out new dates once the global health scenario is stable. The tour stands postponed as of now,” a source informed Mumbai Mirror.

10. IIFA 2020 Postponed

International Indian Film Academy Awards 2020, dubbed as Bollywood Oscars, which was scheduled to take place in the last week of March in Madhya Pradesh has been postponed. For the first time in the history of Zee Cine Awards, the ceremony was filmed without a ticketed audience in Mumbai this weekend. Ranveer Singh and Taapsee Pannu won big on the Zee awards front, but there was no audience cheering them on. So, this was all about the negative impact of COVID-19 on Bollywood. But it’s not over yet, there are stars that have generously by donations to PM Relief Care Fund or various government agencies in order to fight the COVID-19. Here’s a comprehensive list of actors and famous personalities from India who are playing good samaritans and helping their countrymen fight the pandemic.
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