Will Bhansali push the film to Jan 2018 for Gujarat elections?


Is the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati going to be deferred again? Possibly to somewhere in January 2018? If sources working on the period drama are to be believed, this is a strong possibility. And responsible for this will be the Gujarat legislative elections which are being held in two phases on December 9 and 14 for 182 assembly seats. The results will be declared on December 18.

According to sources, the Election Commission of Gujarat reportedly asked Ajit Andhare, the COO of co-producer and presenter Viacom 18, to push Padmavati’s release to after the elections. The reason probably being because the EC anticipates trouble from the Karni Sena, the Rajput caste organization that is objecting to the film and wants the polls to be held in a fair and free atmosphere. Also, at that time, the state's entire police force would be on election duty.

Padmavati, which has already weathered many storms, is slated for release on December 1. Earlier it was to hit screens on November 17. Bhansali sought a later release date reportedly to make up for production time lost due to the disturbances caused by the Karni Sena. Now it appears as if the film will go into the New Year and fans of Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, and Shahid Kapoor will have to wait longer to catch the much-anticipated film.

The understanding given to the Padmavati team is that the Gujarat authorities would also be in a better position to support the film if it was not released in the election month. Viacom is reportedly studying the pros and cons of a deferred release.

Meanwhile, Bhansali’s take on this new obstacle is not known. Given that the filmmaker was struggling to meet the December 1 deadline because of worldwide distributor Paramount Pictures’ demand for Padmavati to be released in 3D, this should come as a welcome break for Bhansali. He is said to be up to his ears in the edit work currently.


Indications are that the Karni Sena is adamant on stalling the film’s release all over the country. Simultaneously, several promotional tie-ups with the film are said to be canceled. The Padmavati team had planned to visit colleges and malls to promote the film. However, due to the threat from the Karni Sena, colleges and malls have reportedly backed out from their commitments. They don’t want to take any risk and hence made it clear to the team.