Debutant director Adir will direct Anandwa, a tribute to Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s cult film Anand (1971), starring Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan. Originally while Saqib Saleem was to do the film, later the film went to Rajkummar Rao for Rajesh Khanna’s role. Now we have heard that Adir has been talking to Jackky Bhagnani and apparently Rajkummar Rao had no knowledge about it.
Says a source, “Adir had approached Rajkummar when talks with Saqib Saleem fell through. Raj had loved the role and was keen to do the film. It’s a performance-oriented role and while Anandwa is not a remake of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand, it has been inspired by it, especially about the friendship between two men. Rajkummar and Adir were scouting for a film studio to produce the film when Rajkummar heard that Adir had approached Jackky for Rajesh Khanna’s role without his knowledge and was going ahead with it. This has deeply upset Rajkummar and he has shared his angst with some close friends of his in the trade who have been talking about it. Usually when another actor does a project which has been offered to someone else, on ethical grounds, he/she is supposed to check with the former actor if it is okay before accepting the project. In this case neither Adir nor Jackky has apparently told Rajkummar about the fact that they were in talks for Anandwa. Rajkummar Rao heard it from some producers whom he was in talks with to produce the film and it came as a big shock to him.”
Jackky Bhagnani says, “I had no clue that Rajkummar Rao was earlier doing the role. Nothing is finalized. Yes, I am in talks with the director for acting in the film. If I do the film I won’t be producing it. I have made a conscious decision not to act in my home productions.”
Anand is about the deep friendship between Bhaskar (Amitabh Bachchan), a doctor and cancer specialist and Anand (Rajesh Khanna), who has lymphoma of the intestine. Despite knowing that he won’t live for more than six months, Anand maintains a cheerful and nonchalant demeanour and always tries to make everyone happy around him. Anand’s condition gradually deteriorates and he dies amongst his friends, changing Bhaskar’s life in more ways than one.