Sushant Singh Rajput’s space odyssey Chandamama Door Ke directed by Sanjay Puran Chauhan and produced by Viki Rajani’s NextGen Films and Eros, appears to be in trouble before it has taken off. The science fiction drama was slated to release on January 26, 2018 and the shooting was supposed to begin from July this year. Later it got postponed to October. In the current scenario it looks unlikely that the shoot will start from next month and release within three months, with Sushant Singh Rajput giving his dates away for Kedarnath (November-December) and Drive (October).
The first hiccup began when one of Sushant’s co-actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui left the film a month before shooting started. Now buzz is that the film isn’t taking off because of lack of funds. However producer Viki Rajani denies the rumour and says the project will roll once the loose ends are tied up. Apart from Sushant Singh Rajput, now only R Madhavan has been confirmed for the film. He went to the US Space & Rocket Centre in Alabama to start his preparation for the film.
Says a trade source, “One thing appears certain – Chandamama Door Ke won’t begin from October as was scheduled. It has been indefinitely postponed for the moment. It’s too early to say that it’s shelved as the makers are still in the process of putting it together. It’s an extremely expensive film with a budget of over Rs. 70 crore (approx) + P&A. While it’s a fascinating story of India’s brave astronauts who set out on a mission to the moon on a journey that brings the nation together, it’s an ambitious project. Viki, Sushant and the director don’t want to give it up completely as they feel passionately about the story and they have all personally invested in it heavily, in terms of money, time and creative inputs. But it looks tough as Chandamama Door Ke is a film where you can’t cut costs. The question also arises whether Sushant will get the producers their revenue as he doesn’t have much of a market, post Raabta.”
The source adds that Sushant Singh Rajput, who is currently shooting for Abhishek Kapoor’s Kedarnath, is supposed to complete the schedule by October 5, return and start shooting for his next film, Tarun Mansukhani’s Drive. Once that schedule is complete he was supposed to being shooting for Chandamama Door Ke but now that seems quite unlikely. “Sushant’s management agency is trying to sort out dates between four films – Chandamama Door Ke, Drive, Kedarnath and Abhishek Chaubey’s untitled next and it’s all looking very tough. Sushant Singh Rajput was dropped from Ajay Kapoor and Bunty Walia’s Romeo Akbar Walter because he was trying to sort out his dates and kept postponing the film and now this new problem has arisen. Chandamama Door Ke was to begin in July this year but nothing was apparently ready, from the cast to the finance required for the high cost of the film. In fact, buzz is that Sushant financed the trip to NASA, in USA, in July from his own pocket when he visited it, for his research. While co-producer Eros had announced the project, they are yet to green light the film until they are fully convinced of the script and the budget. Also finalizing star cast, pre-production details etc before the film can finally go on floor. The lead actress hasn’t been signed and Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s role still hasn’t been filled, so how on earth will Chandamama Door Ke begin from October this year?”
Chandamama Door Ke co-producer Viki Rajani says, “We sent Sushant to NASA and we have already invested a lot in the movie. Chandamama Door Ke is a mammoth project and requires a lot of pre-production and planning as its complex and VFX heavy. We yet have to finalize cast and have a lock on the budget and final script. We are working it and can plan execution once all these details are sorted.”
So when will the project roll? Viki Rajani says, “It’s difficult to say as lots to be locked. Once we sort these loose ends.” Will Chandamama Door Ke begin by this year? “Let’s see how it goes.”