- PadMan will not have a box office clash with Padmaavat
- Akshay's PadMan will not release on January 25
- The film is postponed to February
"He has gone through a lot. It is essential for them to release the film at this time, their stakes are higher than mine," Akshay said about the Padmaavat director, calling him "a dear friend."
"I will be grateful to him for a lifetime. This is how we stand with each other," Sanjay Leela Bhansali said.
Padmaavat, previously titled Padmavati, was originally scheduled to release last month but was postponed after its application for certification was rejected by the Prasoon Joshi-led Censor Board. The film has been opposed by fringe Rajput groups who are concerned that Padmaavat, based on the legend of Rani Padmini, incorrectly depicts a romance between the queen, played by Deepika Padukone, and Alauddin Khilji, played by Ranveer Singh. The Censor passed the film this month with five edits that included dropping the 'i' from the title. Protests continued, with states such as Rajasthan announcing they would not screen the film despite Censor clearance. The Supreme Court yesterday ruled against the ban in the states.
Weeks ago, when it appeared that there was a good chance Padmaavat would end up releasing at or around the same time as PadMan, Akshay told news agency PTI,"Every film has the right to release whenever they (makers) want, and I am happy for them."
Akshay's PadMan co-star Sonam Kapoor added: "It is not announced officially, isn't it? If it is, it is good. There is a need for competition when it comes to films and (it is) high time that the film releases. Good cinema is good cinema, I don't believe in competition. And honestly, I am just happy that the film is releasing, more than anything else, and I hope the film does well. I am pretty sure that there is no official statement from the production house of the film release."
PadMan co-producer Prernaa Arora, however, had already told agencies that it would be 'foolhardy' to release her film with Padmaavat, which boasts a stacked cast of Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor.
Aiyaary, the other film that had been scheduled to release on the Republic Day weekend, pushed itself to February 9 soon after Padmaavat's final date was announced some two weeks ago.
PadMan stars Akshay Kumar as A Muruganantham, inventor of a low cost sanitary napkin machine. Akshay's wife Twinkle Khanna produces while the film is directed by R Balki. The controversial Padmaavat is based on the legend of Rani Padmini of Chittor, played by Deepika Padukone. Ranveer Singh plays Alauddin Khilji with Shahid Kapoor as Ratan Singh. The film has been violently opposed by fringe Rajput groups and states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh announced they would not screen the film, despite the Censor Board's clearance. The Supreme Court yesterday ruled against the ban in the states.