It is no coincidence that Karan Johar’s takeover as the presenter of the Rajinikanth-Akshay Kumar spectacle 2: 0 coincided with the revival of the nearly-aborted Kesari project. Both the mammoth project share one common….or shall we say uncommon…actor - Akshay Kumar. To go back a bit, in February 2017, Karan Johar, Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan announced their decision to join hands to produce a film on 1897’s Battle of Sargarhi. Akshay , always thrilled to play Sikh characters, couldn’t wait to get into the skin of his character.
But then Salman and Karan had a fallout when Karan declined the offer to produce Salman’s brother-in-law Aayush Sharma’s debut film. Kesari was for all practical purposes , shelved…Until its sudden revival this week.
Apparently Akshay Kumar personally intervened and got Karan Johar on board as the presenter of Shankar’s mammoth 2:0 . “This is when the question of reviving Kesari was raised and Karan, who is currently heavily into period films (he is directing a period film Kalank and Shashank Khaitan is directing another period film Rannbhoomi for Karan Johar’s production house), decided to take up Akshay’s suggestion to put Akshay’s beloved project Kesari back on its feet. Karan almost immediately agreed,” says the source.
Kesari will be directed by Punjabi cinema’s foremost director Anurag Singh who has worked repeatedly with Diljit Dosanjh. Dosanjh who is already working in a Karan Johar film Good News with Akshay Kumar , is likely to join the Kesari cast.
With Kesari locked in for August 15, Independence Day, 2019, Akshay again aces the patriotic slot. During the last three years, he has had releases on every Republic Day and Independence Day. For Republic Day 2018 Akshay had R Balki’s Padman while for Independence Day he had Gold. For 2019 Independence Day Akshay already has Kesari lined up.