Takht: Somen Mishra, Head of Development at Dharma Productions, introduces writers of Karan Johar's next

Devansh Sharma

Aug,14 2018 09:55:26 IST

When Karan Johar announced his next directorial Takht, he ensured that the limelight is shared by both the ensemble cast and the two new writers at Dharma Productions, who have penned the script of the magnum opus. While Sumit Roy has written the screenplay, he teamed up with Hussain Haidry for the dialogues.

Sumit Roy and Hussain Haidry. Twitter

Sumit Roy and Hussain Haidry. Twitter

While announcing the film, Johar also thanked Somen Mishra, Head of Development, Dharma Productions for introducing the two budding writers to the filmmaker. Firstpost got in touch with Mishra as he explained to us how he discovered the two writers, who are all set to become 'the next big thing'.

"I know Sumit from a script lab where our scripts were selected. So since then, we would read each others scripts and bounce ideas. I really like his writing, so when I joined Junglee Pictures, I got him on board to develop a superhero script for us. Later, when I joined Dharma, he pitched a Historical concept. That didn't work out but that's how the conversation started till we found a story that got us all excited," says Mishra.

The next step was to convince Johar to sign a writer, with no prior experience of directing a mainstream film. However, Mishra insists that Johar believes in encouraging fresh talent, whether it is behind the camera or in front of it. He gave a break to industry kids like Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Ishaan Khatter, Janhvi Kapoor and Ananya Pandey, and finds like Sidharth Malhotra and Tara Sultaria.

However, credit must not be taken away from where it is due. Karan also injected into the film industry a breed of new voices like Tarun Mansukhani (Dostana), Ayan Mukerjee (Wake Up Sid!), Punit Malhotra (I Hate Luv Storys), Siddharth P Malhotra (We Are Family), Karan Malhotra (Agneepath), Shakun Batra (Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu), Rensil D'Silva (Kurbaan), Abhay Chorpa (Ittefaq), Anurag Singh (Kesari) and Raj Mehta (Good News).

"Karan loves promoting new talent and he completely trusts you once you have proved yourself. So he gave me that freedom to pick writers. Sumit not being experienced in writing big films earlier was never a factor. He is a good writer, has studied history and truly enjoys that space. That reflected in his writing and he was on after he wrote the first concept note for Takht," says Mishra.

Sumit's fellow dialogues writer Hussain Haidry, is however, not new to Bollywood. Though he rose to national fame through spoken word poetry at various platforms like Kommune, he has already worked in three films in the capacity of a lyricist, including Tanuja Chandra's romantic comedy Qarib Qarib Singlle and Anurag Kashyap's sports drama Mukkabaaz. His Mukkabaaz song 'Bahut Hua Samman' became a rage earlier this year. But his breakthrough as a dialogues writer is sure to be with Takht, which will depict the quest for the Mughal throne after the death of Shah Jahan.

"For dialogues, I was looking for someone with good grasp over both Hindi and Urdu. As I was reading sample scripts and could not find anyone good, my friend Varun Grover suggested his name (Haidry). We gave him few sample scenes to write. We wrote it, we read it and he was on at first go," says Mishra.

Grover and Haidry have collaborated as lyricists in Shanker Raman's neo noir thriller Gurgaon last year. Grover also appreciated Johar's gesture to let his writers grace the front seat and proving that a film with the who's who of Bollywood stars is never on auto-drive. It is equally important to highlight those who pen the memorable dialogues that turn actors into household names.

Takht stars Kareena Kapoor Khan, Janhvi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal and Bhumi Pednekar. It is slated to release in 2020.

Updated Date: Aug 14, 2018 10:21 AM