Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di... and you know the rest.
Salman Khan is set to prove he means business, come what may.
Now that his long-delayed corona-stalled project Radhe: India's Most Wanted Bhai is finally scheduled for Eid 2021, there is no power on earth that can deter the superstar Khan from getting it into the theatres on time.
A source close to Salman tells Subhash K Jha, "He will proceed as per schedule to release Radhe on Eid this year, even if Maharashtra and Mumbai are under partial lockdown.
"Even if there is night curfew in Mumbai, Salman is hellbent on getting Radhe into the theatres this Eid."
This resolute stand may augur favourably for theatrical business in North India.
Says the source, "If Radhe does well in spite of the pandemic and ensuing restrictions, it will prove that given the right incentive, audiences are willing to venture into the movie theatres."
At one point, it looked like Salman might have had to go back on his commitment to give Radhe a theatrical release. Instead, due to the rampant increase in COVID-19 cases, the film is getting a simultaneous theatrical and digital release.
A source in the know says, "Radhe has been sold to ZEE Studios for staggering Rs 210 crores (Rs 2.1 billion). The original idea was to release the film in movie theatres and then on the streaming platform after a month. Instead, the film will now get a token theatrical release even as it releases on the digital platform the same day."
The idea of not releasing the film in the theatres apparently did not appeal to Salman, who recently announced that Radhe will only be released in theatres, if not this Eid then on the next.
A knowledgeable source describes this as an impractical and untenable option.
"No one knows what will happen by next Eid. ZEE is most definitely looking at premiering the film on their streaming platform for Eid 2021 on May 13 with a simultaneous theatrical release wherever possible."
'Radhe will now be released in theatres worldwide adhering to the COVID protocols issued by the government and will also be available on ZEE5 to all annual premium subscribers for a one-time viewing,' a Zee Studios statement said on Wednesday evening.
'Additionally, the magnum opus will also be available on ZEE's pay-per-view service, ZEEPlex, available on all leading DTH operators -- Dish, D2H, Tata Sky and Airtel Digital TV.'
An international theatrical release targeting 40 countries, including the Middle East, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Europe is being planned.
It will, add the producers, be the first Bollywood film to release theatrically in the UK since the lockdown last year.