Omicron panic in Bollywood: Future seems uncertain for the film industry

Written By: Subhash K Jha
New Delhi Updated: Dec 07, 2021, 03:47 PM(IST)

Gangubai Kathiawadi Photograph:( Others )

Story highlights

 The Omicron scare has put the pressure of the pandemic again on the badly-hit  Indian entertainment industry.

Just when the box office had begun to look up after the pandemic, what with Sooryavanshi and now Tadap opening well,  the Omicron scare has put the pressure of the pandemic again on the badly-hit  Indian entertainment industry.

“We don’t know where this is going to go. We can only take one day at a time,” says producer Ajay Rai of Jar  Pictures who is currently shooting a  secret project in Lucknow.

“A  sense of muted panic has already gripped the entertainment industry. So many producers have lined up big projects for release during the coming weeks and months. In fact, ambitious producers have booked coveted Friday in November –December  2022 and 2023. But do we  even know what is going to happen two weeks or  one month  from now?”  Ajay Rai voices the fear that has gripped the Indian entertainment industry all over again.

Anees Bazmi who has his big Kartik Aaryan comedy 'Bhoool Bhulaiya 2'  scheduled for  25 March 2022 feels uncertainty is the future of the entertainment industry.  “I suppose we will have to live with the fear of COVID-19  for a  very long time. Now with this new variant coming in, nobody knows what will happen.”

Sanjay Leela Bhansali whose Alia Bhatt-Ajay Devgan starrer 'Gangubai Kathiawadi' is scheduled for February 18, 2022, feels the entertainment industry needs to think beyond its own losses. “Thousands of lives are at stake. Millions have already lost their lives. We can’t be bothered  about our films at a time like this.”

Producer-director Vipul Shah feels it’s too early to comment on the impact of the Omicron: “It’s too early to know how serious this virus is. I would wait and watch. Our industry is showing amazing resilience and I have no doubt that we will get through this also and come out with flying colours.”

Telugu actor  Adivi Sesh whose war bio-pic Major is scheduled for release all over India in multiple languages on  February 11 is hopeful that this time the situation won’t get out of hand. “It might affect India, including the entertainment industry. So far, I don’t see an increase in deaths worldwide and that is cautious good news. If our vaccine drives continue to hold, and the new variant doesn’t cause premature death, we should be able to beat this. Optimistic. Fingers crossed.”

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