Not many know that actor Shah Rukh Khan, apart from a cricket team, also holds the rights of Arjun, the cult Sunny Deol ‘angry young man’ film from the ’80s. It is learnt that SRK had acquired the negatives and other terms of ownership of the Rahul Rawail movie from the production company Cineyug, owned by the Morani Brothers. When actor Nikhil Dwivedi expressed an interest in remaking the hard-hitting Arjun, which was originally written by Javed Akhtar, SRK willingly issued a ‘no objection certificate’. The project, after a change in the director (first Shivam Nair, now Bharat Ratan) has finally been revived with actor Nikhil in Sunny’s role.
An insider associated with the remake reveals, “Back when the film was planned, the world was recovering from recession. So the idea of unemployment in the original Arjun was changed to the troubled setting of the recession. However, the remake was put on hold as Shivam hit a rough patch when his film Ghost Ghost Na Raha with Rahul Bose got stuck in the cans.” Fortunately, the wait paid off for Nikhil, whose Shor In The City released last weekend. Bharat, the new director on board, is a first-timer, who currently works with producer Manmohan Shetty’s Walk Water Media. “The idea of setting Arjun against the backdrop of recession has been discarded. Instead, it will be a very contemporary issue, yet retain the soul of the original,” says the insider, adding that the shoot is scheduled to start this October.
When contacted, all Nikhil was willing to say for now is: “Yes, the remake of Arjun is on. It’s too early to reveal anything yet. We’ll make the official announcement at an appropriate time, closer to our film’s launch.” Apparently, SRK also owns rights of films like the Aamir Khan super-hit Raja Hindustani, besides other Sunny Deol starrers Damini and Dushmani.
The 1985 film Arjun revolves around Arjun Malwankar (Sunny Deol) whose attempts at getting a job end in vain. One day when hoodlums are beating up a man, he intervenes, and beats them up with the help of his friends. Soon his life changes, as he’s used by rival politicians for their selfish purposes.