Bollywood hitmakers who’ve been away from direction for a bit too long nowhttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/bollywood-big-directors-hit-films-5098741/

Bollywood hitmakers who’ve been away from direction for a bit too long now

Bollywood's hitmakers like Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Sooraj Barjatya, Subhash Ghai, Gauri Shinde and others have kept the audience waiting for too long to announce their next directorial. While many have turned producers, others are still looking for the right script.

bollywood directors photos
A lot of Bollywood’s biggest names have stayed away from direction for a bit too long now.

Bollywood is lucky to be bestowed with a bunch of very talented and visionary directors who’ve not just given us some pathbreaking cinema but also shaped storytelling in our films. Ashutosh Gowariker, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Madhur Bhandarkar and several others have worked towards raising the bar of Bollywood with every film. They might be giving us both content driven and entertaining films, but their hard work also requires years of planning and execution. No wonder their final product is polished and well presented.

But ever wondered where a lot of our favourite filmmakers are today, in the times when our film industry has made way for many debutant directors who are out to carve a niche for themselves. Are they on a break? Are they busy building their banners and turning producers which has become a new means of money making? Or are they simply looking for greener pastures in terms of changing box office trends? They might be making appearances at B-town parties, events and award functions, but they haven’t donned the director’s hat for quite sometime.

Check out 10 of Bollywood’s biggest names who have remained away from direction for a bit too long now, and find out what they are up to currently.

Ashutosh Gowariker

Ashutosh Gowariker films
Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan also got a nomination at the Academy Awards.

If this article was written a week back, we wouldn’t know what this maverick director, who gave us Lagaan, Swades and Jodha Akbar and memorable characters like Bhuvan and Mohan Bhargava, was doing today. While we thought he was recovering from the 2016 debacle called Mohenjo Daro, his banner recently released the first poster of Gowariker’s next directorial, Panipat. We are ready to forget his last outing, if he promises to deliver another brilliant movie.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

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Rakeysh Mehra films
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s films manage to establish a deep connection with the youth.

His Rang De Basanti tugged at the heartstrings of an entire generation leading to a youth awakening which was one of its kind. He followed it up with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. But his Mirzya left him and his fans disappointed. We still await the announcement of his next directorial. In the meantime, his production Fanne Khan will release this year.

Sooraj Barjatya

Sooraj Barjatya films
Sooraj Barjatya proved why family sagas and films with ensemble cast will never become outdated.

His films are an integral part of our growing up years. His Maine Pyar Kiya redefined friendship and love. His Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Hum Saath Saath Hain imbibed the values which even real-life families couldn’t! His fifth directorial – Prem Ratan Dhan Payo might have received mixed reviews in 2015, but we are sure he will soon announce his next project. After all, in today’s fast-paced Bollywood, his films are speed breakers allowing us to stop and appreciate old-school romance and family dramas.

Subhash Ghai

Subhash Ghai films
Subhash Ghai has given us memorable films like Taal, Pardes, Ram Lakhan and Saudagar.

The last time he sat on the director’s chair was for the forgettable 2014 film Kaanchi. Subhash Ghai has kept busy with his Whistling Woods film institute for over a decade now. We doubt he is even thinking about producing, leave alone directing a film. Or is he?

Rajkumar Hirani

Rajkumar Hirani films
With a 100 percent track record, Raju Hirani is one of the most successful directors of Bollywood.

Just four films and each one a bigger blockbuster than the other. And all this in a career spanning 15 years! No wonder Raju Hirani prefers to make films at his own will, and we as an audience wait with bated breath. His last directorial was 2014 movie PK. And after keeping us hanging for four years, this hit machine of Bollywood is finally arriving with his much-anticipated project – the Sanjay Dutt biopic this year.

Gauri Shinde

Gauri Shinde films
Gauri Shinde is instrumental in bringing about a new wave of female directors and women-centric films.

Her recent click with late actor Sridevi might have made us curious about their next collaboration, but neither anything was confirmed, nor the iconic star sadly lived to star in Gauri’s future projects. With just two films, the helmer of English Vingligh and Dear Zindagi has raised the bar in Bollywood, ensuring that the industry starts taking female filmmakers seriously. It’s been almost 2 years but no word about her next project.

JP Dutta

JP Dutta films
Known for his epic war films, JP Dutta also experimented with different genres in films like Umrao Jaan.

It took him a decade to announce his next. After his 2006 film Umrao Jaan, JP Dutta took a break, in fact a long one, during which he was seen occasionally. Thankfully 2018 arrived and he is gearing up for Paltan. Another war film, but will it be along the lines of Border and L.O.C.? Only time will tell!

Rajkumar Santoshi

Rajkumar Santoshi films
Rajkumar Santoshi gave Sunny Deol two of his biggest hits – Ghayal and Damini.

The name behind Ghayal, Damini, The Legend of Bhagat Singh and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani has been away ever since his 2013 film Phata Poster Nikhla Hero doomed at the box office. However, to make his comeback, he chose the hot favourite topic in Bollywood right now – the Battle of Saragarhi. He is now directing a film by the same name with Randeep Hooda, which is also being made as Kesari starring Akshay Kumar, apart from a TV show with Mohit Raina.

Karan Johar

Karan Johar films
Karan Johar’s first film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai has acquired a cult status.

Don’t be surprised to find his name here. Yes, KJo is omnipresent and not a minute did we feel he was on any kind of sabbatical. But in reality, he has been away from direction. The last time he sat behind the camera was for 2016 film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which came after 2012’s Student of the Year. In the middle, he only directed a short story in 2013 anthology Bombay Talkies. He seems quite content expanding his Dharma Productions with back-to-back hits. While his next from the banner are Raazi and Kesari, he also does occasional acting, including the recent Welcome To New York. But direction? Let’s just wait!

Farhan Akhtar

Farhan Akhtar films
Farhan Akhtar got into Bollywood with his debut directorial and iconic film Dil Chahta Hai.

This director has turned full-time actor. And we surely miss his other side. Farhan, who helmed Don, Lakshya and Dil Chahta Hai, has stayed away from doing that since his last directorial – Don 2 in 2011. And he has no plans of getting back to the job anytime soon. His Excel Entertainment, on the other hand, is also churning out back-to-back productions. Only if he refrains from acting in films like Lucknow Central and Rock On 2!

We hope these amazing filmmakers get back to direction soon!