Updated December 16th, 2023 at 18:17 IST

Vishal Bhardwaj wasn't 'paid a single penny' for his cult film: It was rejected by everyone

Based on William Shakespeare’s iconic play Macbeth, Vishal Bhardwaj’s 2004 directorial Maqbool opened to massive critical acclaim. It stars Tabu and Irrfan.

A file photo of Vishal Bhardwaj. | Image:Instagram

Vishal Bhardwaj’s 2004 directorial Maqbool which was based on William Shakespeare’s iconic play Macbeth, opened to massive critical acclaim. Even though the movie earned a lot of awards and appreciation, many didn't know the movie was on the verge of getting shelved. In a recent interview, the filmmaker recalled his ordeal in getting the film to the big screen. 

Vishal Bhardwaj sacrificed his fees to shape the film according to his vision

In the latest interview with Midday, Vishal Bharadwaj shared that he wished to use a specific haveli to embrace the warm tone of Maqbool. Unfortunately, just 15 days before the shoot, the film's co-producer Bobby Bedi said that he was on a budget crunch and couldn’t fly the cast from Mumbai to Bhopal. 

Vishal Bharadwaj file photo | Image: Vishal Bharadwaj/Instagram 

He shared, “Ek din he (Bobby Bedi) said out of the blue, ‘We don’t have the budget to go to Bhopal, so you shoot in Film’s Division ki haveli’. Maine mana kar diya ki main shoot nahi karungi and he said that then ‘Main film nahi banaunga’. Maine raat ko 4-6 drink maare and phone off kar dia.”


Vishal goes off for the weekend

Vishal Bharadwaj further revealed that it was on Monday that someone from Bedi’s team contacted him. “Meri fees thi Rs 30 lakh. Music, direction, writing sab kuch laga ke. Unhone kaha ki Bhopal mein shoot karne mein 60 extra lagte hai to 30 lakh tu daal de, 30 lakh main daal dunga. Maine bola ki ye aap bata dete Friday ko.” For the unversed, Maqbool was also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and had an ensemble cast of Irrfan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Piyush Mishra, Murali Sharma and Masumeh Makhija.

Maqbool official poster | Image: IMDb

In the same interview, Vishal revealed not getting paid a penny in return for investing in Maqbool. “I was not paid a single penny for that film. Till date I have not got a single penny even being a producer. But look at this, mujhe kitna mila hai Maqbool se, jo mujhe wo Rs 30 lakh mein kabhi nahi milta. Bobby Bedi had a vision. It was rejected by everyone in the film industry.” 


Published December 16th, 2023 at 18:17 IST