Calm, composed and collected, director Atlee shows no signs of nerves as his biggest film to date — Jawan, which has huge expectations riding on it — gets ready to release.
The film will be released on over a whopping 1600 screens just in the USA.
No wonder then that it is being hailed as Bollywood Badshaah Shah Rukh Khan’s biggest release to date. The film has huge expectations riding on it and scores of fans are eagerly awaiting it.
Ask Atlee what inspired him to come up with the story of Jawan and what people can expect to take away from it and he replies, “Jawan will be a film for everybody. It will talk about a problem that we all face.”
He adds, “Lots of incidents that happened around us were what inspired me to take up this topic. It talks about Indian emotions, a very solid emotion. It is not the emotion of a relationship, a solid point of view.”
However, there is also trolling against the movie. How does he deal with the negativity being put out by the trolls?
Says Atlee, “I think that (trolling) is what makes me keep going ahead. I think I have everything. When someone says something, I listen in and see what they have to say.”
He adds, “I think it is good that such trolling is there. It is okay. If there is something which is fair in what they say, I take it and use it to help myself grow. There are also lots of unfair things that are said. I ignore them and move on.”
#NotRamaiyaVastavaiya song ippudu release ayyindi!
— atlee (@Atlee_dir) August 29, 2023
‘Nayan gave her best’
While he spoke a lot about working with Shah Rukh Khan and Vijay Sethupathi, not much is known about his experience of working with Nayanthara.
“I have worked with her (Nayanthara) on three films. It is the same experience. To be precise, everybody who has been there with me and everybody who has been responsible for my victories has supported me yet again in this film. Nayan has given her best,” Atlee quips.
The Jawan director reveals, “In the first half, the role of an opponent to Shah Rukh is very limited. So, when we were looking for a villain to a hero in the first half, Nayan was perfect. She did an exceptionally good job.”
Atlee admits that Jawan was made with a humongous budget. But he doesn’t reveal the exact figure. “Well, I am not sure about the budget. But I can say that this will be among the highest-budget films in Indian cinema.”
He further adds, “I am only a director, and I am concerned about what this film needs. It is the producer who knows how much has been spent. When I am a producer, I will give you more specific information on what the budget of the film is and the business it does.”
Supported 3,000 families in Kollywood
One fact about Jawan was that the unit chose to make a conscious decision to shoot a huge schedule in Chennai. This resulted in over 3,000 families dependent on the Tamil film industry standing to benefit from it.
Ask Atlee about the circumstances that led to such a decision being taken and he says, “Yes, it was a conscious decision. There was a very important set portion in the film, that had to be shot.”
He elaborates further: “While initially it was suggested that we do that portion in Mumbai, I requested that it would be better if we shot the portion in Chennai. Shah Rukh sir agreed. Everybody came up with suggestions after computing the costs.”
The director recalls, “I said, ‘We should give our best, and my work speed would be great if we worked from Chennai.’ It was a schedule that involved huge crowds and Shah Rukh sir said, ‘We have to give back. Let’s do it.’ Had the same portions been shot in Mumbai instead of Chennai, they would have definitely saved anywhere between ₹10 to 15 crore. It was a generous move on Shah Rukh’s part.”
Of Justice & A Jawan.
Of Women & their Vengeance.
Of a Mother & A Son.
And of course, a lot of Fun!!!
Ready Ahhh!!!#JawanTrailer out now! #Jawan releasing worldwide on 7th September, 2023 in Hindi, Tamil & Telugu. pic.twitter.com/WwU95DJcK2
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) August 31, 2023
So that now Jawan is done, what’s next on the cards for Atlee?
The director hastens to add: “I haven’t given any call sheets to my son Meer. It has been seven months since my son was born and I haven’t spent even one single day entirely with him.”
“I wish to take a break for about three to four months for my son and then decide on my next course of action,” he signs off.