High 5: The top five superstars who drive the Bollywood film trade

It’s no longer about joining the 100-crore club, they have already done it. The next 12 months or so will see Bollywood’s top five superstars boldly go to box-office extremes that no other star has ever ventured to before.
With the completion at the top heating up, there is no space for a slip-up. If Salman Khan has staked his claim as Bollywood’s reigning number one, his challenge will be to retain that spot with his next string of releases.
For bete noire Shah Rukh, the name of the game is all about proving he is still very much the King Khan he has been for the industry over a decade and half now. Aamir’s USP of surprising the viewers with each new film has worked so far. His next lot of releases proves he will try and continue to do so.
Method actor Aamir Khan is Bollywood’s most unusual superstar; Shah Rukh Khan has teamed up with director Rohit Shetty in Chennai Express
Ajay Devgn, hailed as Bollywood’s safest superstar, will set out to prove that the stray failure such as Tezz was just a fluke. For Akshay Kumar, it is all about making afresh bid at the top spot after Joker took away a bit of the sheen he garnered thanks to Rowdy Rathore.
Importantly, for all these aging superstars, the challenge lies in staying at the top of the heap – what with the younger lot closing in. If Ranbir Kapoor is slowly but surely making his presence felt as the superstar of tomorrow, Imran Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Ranvir Singh and Arjun Kapoor can’t be written off either. Can the Khans, Kumar and Devgn stave off the young attack?

TALAASH: The Reema Kagti-directed film is billed as a psychological thriller and co-stars Rani Mukerji and Kareena Kapoor. The film was originally scheduled to open in the first half of 2012, but Aamir subsequently chose November 30 as the release date. This is because the method actor felt he would not get enough time to promote the film at that point of time, considering he was busy with his TV show, Satyamev Jayate.
DHOOM 3: The film has been making news from even before shooting started. The first schedule is being canned in Chicago right now. Aamir plays the central role of a super thief and teams up with Katrina Kaif for the first time. Katrina has some heavy-duty action too while Australian hottie Tabrett Bethell makes her Bollywood debut as Uday Chopra’s co-star. Dhoom 3 is slated for a 2013 release.
PK: Aamir and his 3 Idiots director Rajkumar Hirani team up for PK, a satire about corruption in the education system. Anushka Sharma is cast opposite Aamir and the film is slated to release on Christmas 2013.
Aamir has always won over the fans with his knack at doing something different. His forthcoming line-up sticks to that line. Talaash is billed as a very different thriller meant for a niche crowd while Dhoom 3 is an allout masala entertainer. PK aims at mixing entertainment with message. Aamir will try to maintain his space as Bollywood’s most unusual superstar over the next year.

JAB TAK HAI JAAN: Late Yash Chopra’s last film, JTHJ is rumoured to be an update on the filmmaker’s 1973 superhit, Daag, which starred Rajesh Khanna,Rakhi and Sharmila Tagore.
CHENNAI EXPRESS: The film will see SRK team up with director Rohit Shetty, maker of blockbusters such as the Golmaal series, Singham and Bol Bachchan. For Shah Rukh, working with Rohit is probably vital at this point considering the director’s flamboyant style of filmmaking could add a very different tweak to the superstar’s image. The film will star Deepika Padukone opposite Shah Rukh, and is slated to open next year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR: Friends-turned-foesturned- friends SRK and Farah Khan return together with Happy New Year, a film that was announced in the past only to be temporarily shelved.
SRK’s position is threatened for the first time after over a decade and half at the top, so JTHJ is his most important release in a while. With Yash Chopra as director, Katrina Kaif as his costar, and AR Rahman composing the songs, SRK couldn’t have asked for a better deal to return in his vintage romantic avatar considering recent experiments such as Ra.One and Don 2 didn’t meet expectations. The Diwali release has garnered tremendous hype.

Akshay Kumar’s next film, Khiladi 786, is touted as a complete masala entertainer

KHILADI 786: Akshay returns with his Khiladi image with his next release, a film that is touted as a complete masala entertainer. The film also stars Mithun Chakraborty and Asin .
SPECIAL CHHABBIS: Neeraj Pandey, acclaimed director of A Wednesday!, returns with the thriller that is based on a real-life jewellery heist that took place in Mumbai in 1987. Akshay plays a man who posed as a CBI officer to pull off the daring theft.
ONCE UPON A TIME AGAIN: The sequel to Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai sees Akshay take over from Emraan Hashmi as Sultan, the ruthless don based on Dawood Ibrahim. The film also stars Imran Khan, Sonali Bendre and Sonakshi Sinha.
NAAM HAI BOSS: The action film is directed by Anthony D’Souza and is slated for an Eid 2013 release. The full cast and crew is yet to be finalised.
Akshay returned with a bang with the action masala blockbuster Rowdy Rathore, followed by the hit Housefull 2 and Rowdy Rathore. However, his latest big release, Joker flopped. For Akshay, it is important that his next lot of films have a good run at the box-office.
Ajay Devgn is regarded as Bollywood’s safest superstar; Salman Khan is now at the top of the game in Bollywood

SON OF SARDAAR: Going by the initial hype, Ajay seems to have another winner at hand with his next, slated to open during Diwali. The action comedy is directed by Ashwini Dhir, who earlier gave Ajay a hit with Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge. Considerable buzz is also generated thanks to Ajay’s pairing with Sonakshi Sinha in the film which is a remake of the Telugu superhit, Maryada Ramanna. The film marks the return of Sanjay Dutt as a baddie after Agneepath.
HIMMATWALA: Sajid Khan’s remake of the 1984-superhit of the same name sees Ajay reprise Jeetendra’s role opposite Telugu superstar Tamannah Bhatia.
SATYAGRAHA: Ajay returns with Prakash Jha in the political thriller scheduled to release next year. The film will also star Amitabh Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor.
SINGHAM 2: Ajay and director Rohit Shetty will continue with the adventures of inspector Bajirao Singham in the sequel to the 2011 blockbuster.
GANGAAJAL 2: Prakash Jha will start Gangaajal 2 next year, and the film will continue with exposing the murky side of law and order in Bihar.
AT STAKE Ajay is regarded as Bollywood’s safest superstar. His films guarantee minimum profits to its investors. This year, Ajay has had one flop (Tezz) and one hit (Bol Bachchan). With SOS he returns to his familiarurf of heavy-duty action.

DABANGG 2: The sequel to Salman’s 2010 blockbuster Dabangg is out in Christmas, and the film reunites him with Sonakshi Sinha. Chulbul Pandey, the maverick cop he plays, will get a stylish makeover this time.
SHER KHAN: Angela Jonsson makes her debut in this Eid 2013 release. The film was originally meant to be a superhero flick but owing to Salman’s illness, it is being rewritten as a romantic drama now.
SOORAJ BARJATYA’S UNTITLED NEXT: Salman reunites with Sooraj Barjatya, 14 years after they worked together in Hum Saath Saath Hain. He plays the eldest brother in the film is tentatively titled Bade Bhaiyya.
KICK: The action comedy is a remake of the 2009 Telugu blockbuster of the same name. The film stars Angela Jonsson and is slated for a 2013 release. Force villain Vidyut Jamwal returns to Bollywood with the films.
Salman is right now at the top of the game in Bollywood, after four consecutive 100 crore-plus blockbusters (Dabangg, Ready, Bodyguard and Ek Tha Tiger). However, at 47, the superstar isn’t growing any younger.He will have to reinvent himself to suit his advancing age if he wants to stay on top.


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