Yash Chopra Returns to Directing

Nyay Bhushan
Yash Chopra (left), pictured here with Oliver Stone and Jane Campion.

The director and studio head, now 78, will work again with Shah Rukh Khan.

NEW DELHI -- One of India's most successful filmmakers, Yash Chopra, 78, will don the director's hat again reteaming with superstar Shah Rukh Khan on an untitled project.

The duo last worked on 2004's romantic epic Veer Zaara. Chopra – who heads iconic banner Yash Raj Films that has some of Bollywood's biggest hits to its credit over five decades – has created superstars out of many actors including Khan who has delivered major Yash Raj blockbusters since the 1990s, most notably 1995's megahit Dilwale Dulhaniye Le Jayenge.

“Everyone knows that when I make a movie, Shah Rukh will be involved with it. He is like family to YRF and I have always regarded him as one of my own,” Chopra said in a statement.

YRF also confirmed that the upcoming project will co-star top actress Katrina Kaif -- costarring with Shah Rukh Khan for the first time -– and upcoming actress Anushka Sharma whose career was launched with Khan's 2008 release Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.

The project will also be unique with Chopra working for the first time with Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) with lyrics by acclaimed lyricist and poet Gulzar.

“It's been seven years since I directed Veer Zaara and as I begin work on my new film I hear my inner voice asking me a lot of questions. 'Are you sure you want to direct again, you are nearly 80 years old and the audience is getting younger day by day? Can I really speak from my heart and still expect today's youth to listen to me? Will I be able to live up to the blind faith that Shah Rukh Khan has in me and give him yet another memorable romantic film? Will I be able to present the beautiful Katrina Kaif and the very talented Anushka Sharma in a way they have never been seen before? Will I be able to inspire Rahman and Gulzar enough to create their best work yet?'” added Chopra. “The honest answer is... I DON'T KNOW! All I know is that I'm making a film that I believe in, a film that is about love and nothing else. A film which has an old soul but a young heart. A film which is classic in its look but contemporary in its language. A film which I'm making on one simple faith... the love that my audiences have given to me over the years. They have tolerated my indulgences for the past 50 years, I'm sure they will indulge me one more time.”

The film is scheduled for a late 2012 release timed with the festive season of Diwali.

“I’ve reached a stage in life where I need friends who have done films with me. And he (Yash Chopra) is more than a friend. He is like a mentor and a wonderful human being besides being India’s greatest filmmaker ever. I can assure you that it’ll be a grand Yash Chopra film,” said Shah Rukh Khan in a recent interview.

Khan performed over the weekend at the IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) Awards in Toronto where he won best actor for his turn in Fox Star Studios' debut Bollywood release My Name Is Khan.

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