'Kisme Kitna Hai Dum' - This could well be a screaming headline this December when Shah Rukh Khan takes on none less than Tom Cruise and that too not just in his home territory but also overseas (which by the way is home away from home for him). His Don 2 would release in the immediate week after Cruise's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and this could well be a scary situation for the Top Gun superstar who has been facing quite some challenge from Khan, especially during last half a decade.
"Shah Rukh's professional rivalry with Cruise started around the release of Om Shanti Om (2007) when the Farah Khan directed film ended up opening much bigger than Lions For Lambs. As per reports, while the Shah Rukh starrer had grossed $19 million worldwide in its opening weekend, Cruise could manage only $10.3 million on its opening weekend despite releasing globally over 45 markets. This was the time when it was first acknowledged even by world media that Khan was not just a force to reckon with Indians and NRIs but also global audience", comments a senior filmmaker.
Shah Rukh had then shrugged away the comparison stating that Cruise was still a bigger superstar because he was getting paid much more than him. However, the equation continue to tilt towards Shah Rukh's way when a popularity survey revealed that while 3.2 billion people knew him around the globe, only 2.7 billion across the world knew Tom Cruise.
"It was time for Shah Rukh too to take himself far more seriously", says a close associate, "This is when he started thinking bigger than ever and started discussing amongst friends and advisors that Hollywood was going to be his next big goal. Ever since then news has been trickling in that he is devising a project with Leonardo DiCaprio."
While writer Mushtaq Sheikh has confirmed on record that he is indeed writing a film for a two hero film that would feature Shah Rukh and Leonardo, closer home Khan has already taken two huge steps in this direction.
"First step in this direction is Ra.One where he has aimed for stepping into the superhero arena that has been otherwise reserved only for his Hollywood counterparts", he continues, "On the other hand with Don 2, which is again a thriller franchise just like Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, he has dared to take on Cruise. He knows that Christmas is the time when audience worldwide watch movies in heavy volumes but the kind of release plans that have been devised for Don 2, it could well prove to be a heavy dent in Cruise starrer, if not entirely topple it."
Well, this is one challenge that is sure to catch Tom Cruise unawares.