Rakeysh Mehra says ‘deeply disappointed’ on not being able to launch Abhishek Bachchan with Samjhauta Express

Published on Jul 29, 2021 12:51 AM IST  |  101.4K
   
Rakeysh Mehra says ‘deeply disappointed’ on not being able to launch Abhishek Bachchan with Samjhauta Express
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Prolific filmmaker Rakeysh Mehra had planned to work with Abhishek Bachchan nearly two decades ago in a film called ‘Samjhauta Express’, which would have been Abhishek’s launch in the world of Hindi films. In his latest autobiography, ‘The Stranger in the Mirror’, Rakeysh Mehra spoke about feeling disappointed as the project never took off. Rakeysh debuted as a director with ‘Aks’ starring Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpayee in 2001. Abhishek debuted with the film titled ‘Refugee’ directed by J.P. Dutta. The film was also a launchpad for Kareena Kapoor in the industry. Rakeysh and Abhishek went on to work together much later in ‘Delhi 6’, which came out in 2009.

According to PTI, Rakeysh was about to roll the first schedule of Samjhauta Express in Ladakh when Jaya Bachchan called him to inform that ‘Refugee’ will be Abhishek’s debut film. Reportedly, Rakeysh burnt the script and the other research work related to the film in a bonfire on his terrace. Rakeysh was 'deeply disappointed and crestfallen' and decided to never reignite the project. Rakeysh wrote, “I understood the decision (Abhishek's) rationally. My script involved Abhishek playing a Pakistan-sponsored terrorist in his first film, which was against the grain of how Indian audiences perceive their hero... I couldn't help but wonder: what is the right launch pad for an actor with a gargantuan legacy like Abhishek?"

Rakeysh and Abhishek worked together in Delhi 6. Mentioning the film in his book, Rakeysh wrote, “Delhi-6 is and will remain the closest to my heart. And because as a script, it was the first that took shape within me and stayed dormant for a very long time inside my consciousness...I knew if I had to keep making great cinema, I would need a solid footing in picking the right kind of story. My movies had to have a voice.”

Also Read| Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra admits being devastated with Delhi 6 debacle: Wanted to drink myself to death 

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