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Amitabh Bachchan is a mega star and his illness comes with a bill fitting his stature: Rs 100 crore. That's the amount locked up in his films and plans of the Unforgettable tour in India, all of which will be on hold now that Bachchan has been advised one-and-a-half months' rest.
"It is suggested that he take complete bed rest and stay away from starch and spicy food. Since Mr Bachchan is disciplined anyway, he should recover quite quickly," says one of the doctors on Bachchan's consultancy panel at Leelavati Hospital, Mumbai.
At present, the actor is working on Leena Yadav's Teen Patti, a Rs 25-crore film, Sujoy Ghosh's Aladdin, a Rs 45-crore film, and Shoojit Sircar's Shoebite, a Rs 25-crore film. Other films he has signed include Time Machine, Pocket Maar, Aankhen 2, Bhairavi, Struggler, Talisman and his home production, The Legend of Kunal.
The budgets for the films on the floor will rise, unless they have an insurance against the leading artist, says a Bollywood trade analyst not wishing to be named. Manish Porwal, CEO, Percept Talent Management, says, "Insuring the artist is usual in Hollywood, but not in Bollywood, as the premium is quite high.
"Also, Bachchan has made movie commitments to directors Ravi Chopra, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi. Before he was hospitalised, he had committed to do a film with Pritish Nandy's son Kushan.
Titled The Actor, the film incorporates many elements of Bachchan's life. Sabbas Joseph of Wizcraft, event managers for the Unforgettable tour, admits that the November-December schedule for the India leg is now disrupted. "Mr Bachchan's health comes first," he adds. About losses, he says, "The plans were concrete but not yet implemented, so it's almost negligible.