Bollywood megastars Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan have been facing endless questions about the upcoming clash between their films ‘Raees’ and ‘Sultan’, respectively, after both settled on an Eid 2016 release date. But the person who set up the clash may be none other than Raees producer Ritesh Sidhwani, of Excel Entertainment. Sources close o the industry inform that Ritesh was aware that YRF was planning an Eid 2016 release for Sultan, and only waiting for some clarity about leading man Salman’s legal situation before announcing this. Despite this, Ritesh went ahead and finalised the same date for Raees.
A source said, “Last year, when reports had started doing the rounds that Salman’s next would be with YRF, Ritesh had called Aditya Chopra to enquire about the same. At that point of time, YRF had not made an official announcement yet due to Salman’s ongoing case.”
“Ritesh asked Aditya about Sultan, and when he intended to release it. Adi told Ritesh that YRF was looking at Eid 2016, but would wait for the verdict in Salman’s hit-and-run case before announcing anything,” the source continued.
It was just a couple of days after this phone call that Ritesh announced Raees would come out on Eid 2016, on his social media page — a development that apparently shocked Aditya Chopra, we hear.
In the meantime, Salman too was cleared of charges in his case, so YRF went ahead and declared Sultan’s release date as planned.
Ritesh has said that since he was the first to announce the date, he hasn’t done anything wrong. But if our sources are to be believed, there’s more to this clash than a case of simple scheduling conflict.