Was Madhur Bhandarkar quoting a figure of 5 crore for directing Madamjee? And was that the reason that resulted in the film with Priyanka Chopra, for whom this was also going to be a maiden production, not really taking off? Now these have been the recent rumors making the rounds about the two National Award winners who were set to collaborate on one of the most talked about and hyped films in the last couple of years. This, when the official announcement around the actual shooting schedule and supporting cast was never announced.
The truth though, as is always the case when it comes to rumors, hearsay and speculations, is altogether different.
"There have been many reports about why the film didn't take off, even though nothing has been official about that," says a source close to Madhur, "To say that he was charging an unreasonable amount of money to direct Madamjee is absolutely baseless, more so since he and Priyanka are co-producing the film. No one quotes fee in this manner when you are anyways working in a collaborative arrangement."
For someone who has made a career out of making controlled budgeted films which turn out to be profitable commercially and acclaimed critically while winning awards for those associated with them, this piece of gossip - the source of which has left him wondering aloud too - came as a mighty surprise.
"There are different yardsticks depending on various factors when it comes to the budget of a film; Madhur's track record is an example of that. Right from Chandni Bar or Page 3 to even Heroine with Kareena Kapoor in the lead, have done well mainly due to an ideal mix of content and right budget. As a matter of fact, that is going to be the core strength of his Calendar Girls as well which has been made on a very modest budget and releases on 7th August. Why would be change this basic ideology of his for Madamjee," questions the source.
No wonder, Madhur Bhandarkar - who is known for his calm and composed stature and is usually unflustered by any loose talk - took to Twitter recently and shared his views on the subject in question.
He tweeted - "Speculating on film budgets, equations between directors & actors under the guise of #RumorHasIt is unbecoming of true & fair journalism. A director looks at all factors before quoting a fee & never willingly puts pressure on film's budget. #RumorHasIt, pls get ur rumors right!" (sic)
This leaves one with the 5 crore - oops, million dollar question - Will Madamjee ever get made?
"The subject is his and he might decide to make it later, but as of now the film is on hold as he has started working on another subject," says our source, "Madhur has moved on and started working on another project that should be announced soon. People should get over Madamjee. The fact is that the film is not happening at this stage."
Now that should settle it once for and all.