Kat-SRK romance in ‘paradise’
When Shah Rukh Khan romances Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in snow-capped terrain for Yash Chopra’s next untitled biggie, the location won’t be the Swiss Alps as it has been in all of Chopra’s films for quite some time now.
Thirty-six years after he last shot in Kashmir for his 1976 superhit Kabhi Kabhie, the veteran filmmaker is all set to return to the Valley to shoot his new film.
Chopra returns as director for the first time in eight years since Veer-Zaara, with his new romantic drama that is slated to be the Diwali release.
The 79-year-old filmmaker, widely regarded as Bollywood’s master of romance, recently sent a team of location scouts to finalise shooting spots in Kashmir. The team is said to have checked out popular locales such as Nishat Bagh, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Dal Lake and Char Chinari and also discussed official procedures with authorities.
The challenge for Chopra, sources said, lies in hunting down fresh locations in these hotspots since the Valley has been a common outdoor location in the past.
‘Kashmir used to be a popular shooting location for Bollywood till the Seventies but the rise of terrorist strikes and the deteriorating law and order meant filmmakers stayed away from the Valley over the past three decades or so. Now that conditions have improved, Yash ji wants to revive the tradition of shooting in the state,’ a source said.
Late March, SRK and Katrina returned after wrapping up a mammoth 35-day schedule in London for the film. The stint included shooting at Borough Market, Jubilee Walk, the Tower Bridge and Canary Warf. A key action sequence was filmed at Shepherd’s Bush for which four streets had to be shut down.
Since then, Chopra has been busy shooting with his unit in Mumbai, and if all goes according to plan the Kashmir schedule will start in August.
‘SRK was busy with IPL 5. Now that it’s over, he’s keen to do a recce of the Valley before the shoot,’ the source said.
The film, touted as one of the biggest releases this year, has been in the news ever since it was announced, mainly because SRK and Katrina would share screen space for the first time. The news that Chopra has signed the Oscar-winning duo of A. R. Rahman and Gulzar for the songs also generated hype. A while ago, Chopra was rumoured to have named his film London Ishq but Yash Raj Films refuted the reports.
The only major mainstream film to be shot in Kashmir lately was Lamhaa.