Salman Khan and director Kabir Khan who partnered over three big films Ek Tha Tiger, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Tubelight, are no longer friends. According to a close friend of Salman, the superstar is not even on talking terms with Kabir any longer. “The differences between the two of them have been brewing for some time now. Tubelight was the end of their friendship. Salman and Kabir had heated arguments over how the film and its characters needed to be treated. There were stand-offs in full view of the entire unit where Kabir would just not give in to Salman’s suggestions,” says a source.
Stories of the Salman-Kabir differences filtered back to Mumbai from Ladakh where they shot for Tubelight. Kabir Khan tried to laugh off stories about their differences. But when Ali Abbas Zafar was signed to direct the sequel to Ek Tha Tiger instead of Kabir Khan it became evident that something was seriously amiss between Kabir and Salman Khan.
Says the source, “We can comfortably assume that Ali Abbas Zafar now occupies the place in Salman’s professional and personal range that Kabir Khan occupied earlier. Ali is more open to Salman’s suggestions than Kabir. Ali Abbas Zafar and Salman Khan have worked on two blockbusters Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai. And if their third film together Bharat is a smash success, Ali would be one-up on Kabir since Kabir’s last film with Salman (Tubelight) didn’t work.”
Apparently, Kabir Khan has approached Salman for a fourth film. But Salman has shown no interest. In this success-driven film industry where you are as good as your last success, Kabir’s failure to deliver another hit with Salman Khan in Tubelight compounded by their differences, is reason enough to end what looked like a durable friendship.
So while Salman Khan now favours Ali Abbas Zafar, Kabir Khan is working on his cricket film with Ranveer Singh.