The deadline expired on November 9 and Chetan Bhagat decided not to renew the deal following friction between him and Gupta as well as financial disagreements with the studio.
Reports confirm that the director wanted to cast Myra Karn whom he had launched in No One Killed Jessica, as the leading lady. After several closed-door meetings, he gave up on Myra and agreed to cast a more ‘saleable’ face. Talks were on with Alia Bhatt while Arjun Kapoor stepped in for Rajkummar Rao, to play Gopal, one of the two male protogonists.
However, since August the project has been in cold storage because Chetan wasn’t impressed with Gupta’s final screenplay. “He didn’t think it was commercial and now wants to take the project to others who have expressed interest,” says a source. “After the deadline on the rights expired, he spoke to the studio’s head, Siddharth Roy Kapur and the two have decided to part ways. Now, Chetan will also be co-producing the film with a new maker.”
When contacted, Chetan was guarded on the subject: “The rights have reverted to me and I’m figuring out the remaining formalities with the studio.”
A spokesperson from UTV said, “We have had a long and fruitful association with Chetan on Kai Po Che, 2 States and Kick, and would be happy to collaborate with him on future adaptations of his books. In such projects it is important for both parties to be on the same page, creatively and commercially, and if we are, we will definitely work together again.”