Monday, December 20, 2010

Akki wants Rs 27cr for 'Once Upon' sequel

It seems Salman Khan isn't the only one in Bollywood demanding pay hikes; Akshay Kumar is trying to be a better khiladi at this game .

But Akki overdid it a bit recently and he may have blown his chances of playing the dreaded underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in Ekta Kapoor's sequel to Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai.

Balaji Telefilm's head honcho, Ekta Kapoor offered Akshay to step into Emraan Hashmi's shoes in the second part of Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai.

Says a source close to the film, "Ekta wants to take the sequel of Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai to the next level. She felt that Akshay would be ideal for playing Dawood Ibrahim's role.

She likes the way Akshay acts and feels that he has a lot of potential for playing challenging roles."

But it turns out that the actor is not doing the project despite what Ekta feels about him. Grapevine has it that Akshay asked for a whopping sum of Rs 27 crore from Balaji for his role in the film.

He was told that it would be difficult to generate profits if he was paid this large a fee.

Akshay was then asked if he would reconsider the situation and reduce his fee. It seems Balaji is still waiting for a revertal on that. After that discussion, Balaji and Akshay never arrived at a negotiation.

Rumour also has it that Akshay wanted Balaji to sell the film to a corporate, so they could incur ready profits. But so far Balaji has never involved a corporate giant in their projects, so this did not work out either.

However, all's not lost. Akshay's name is apparently still being considered for Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Part 2 at the Balaji office. But if Akki chooses to ride his high horse, he stands a chance of losing the film.

Agreed, it's fashionable to make big-budget films nowadays. But if actors' fee skyrocket at this rate, it is bound to affect the quality of cinema. That actors are consistently bleeding productions houses dry is a fact the entire industry is grappling with.

While films in Bollywood continue to lose money, will actors develop a conscience and cut down a little on their remuneration? Only time will tell. In the meantime, Akki seems to have lost out on a relatively challenging role.

Besides Ekta Kapoor, Akshay too remained unavailable for comment. Acting pricey, Akki?

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