Yash Raj Films has dropped a new trailer for Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming Fan. Directed by Maneesh Sharma, the thriller opens April 15 in India, North America and Australia. It’s produced by Aditya Chopra of Aamir Khan’s Dhoom franchise and the upcoming Sultan, starring SRK’s sometime rival/sometime pal Salman Khan. That film goes head-to-head with SRK’s Raaes when the two release over the Eid holiday this summer. Anticipation is high for each of the films with the Fan trailer launch held as an event for several thousand at Yash Raj’s studios yesterday. It’s already generated over 1.75M YouTube views in its first 24 hours.
SRK plays two roles in Fan, one enabled by the use of makeup and CGI. The story follows Gaurav (Shah Rukh Khan), a twentysomething young man whose world revolves around the mega movie star Aryan Khanna (also Shah Rukh Khan) or God as he refers to him. From Delhi, young Gaurav embarks on a journey to the city of dreams, Mumbai, in order to wish his God a happy birthday. When things don’t go according to plan, Gaurav’s love and passion for Khanna become a dangerous obsession. The trailer has drawn comparisons to the 1996 Robert De Niro/Wesley Snipes-starrer, The Fan, although it’s understood there is no official connection.
The Bollywood icon’s last film, Dilwale, was an underperformer, bowing to $9.8M at home in December for only his 5th highest opening ever in India. It was hobbled to some extent by competing pic, Bajirao Mastani, starring Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, and by comments SRK had made which sparked the ire of right-wing groups at the time, but which he said were “misconstrued.” It ultimately netted about $22M in India, landing it at No. 5 amongst all Indian films for the year, and grossed another $4.9M in the U.S.
Recent reports indicate that due to the lackluster box office in India, SRK’s Red Chillies Entertainment is taking steps to refund some individual Indian distributors for a percentage of losses. However, with all local, offshore ($25M gross) and ancillary business factored in, Bollywood Hungama estimates the project actually made a $22M profit.
There’s little competition in Fan‘s April 15 release corridor and reaction so far to the trailer has been positive with word out of Bollywood that the film could turn the box office back in SRK’s favor.