In an unprecedented move to show the world who’s the real boss in a film project, director Raghava Lawrence walked out of Laxmmi Bomb, the much-talked about remake of the 2011 Tamil blockbuster Muni 2: Kanchana about a man whose body is taken over by the spirit of a transgender.
Akshay Kumar, who plays the lead in the remake, displayed the film’s first poster on social media over the weekend.
The move was not taken well by the director and it prompted his exit from the project, citing disrespect as a prime reason for his departure.
Raghava’s move has shocked Bollywood, where even the most reputed directors are known to bow to their superstar-hero’s whims. Else, they are shown the door.
Like Kabir Khan, who was a close friend of Salman Khan until Tubelight happened, when the hero’s suggestions were firmly shot down by the director. Kabir’s relationship with Salman has been severed since.
Sources say Raghava saw what was coming.
“He knew this ghost film would be ghost-directed," a source tells Subhash K Jha. "Nowadays, superstars like Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar are very active on the sets. Raghava must have been warned. He belongs to the old school of filmmaking, where the director is king. Rather than bear with the intervention, Raghava has gracefully walked out."
It is common knowledge in Bollywood that -- barring Amitabh Bachchan -- every superstar, from Rajesh Khanna to Ranveer Singh, has contributed to the direction of a film.
Raghava Lawrence refused to comply with that.
One hears that producers Shabina Khan and Tusshar Kapoor are frantically on the look-out for a replacement.
This is a difficult ask at the last minute, since Akshay has already announced the release date, as June 5, 2020.
Will the star end up directing the film himself?