Ekta Kapoor's Once Upon A Time In Mumbai, which is based on the life of the late don Haji Mastan, has already run into controversial waters with his family filing a case against her production house. Now, Ekta wants to avoid more controversy.
The latest is that the character of legendary actor Dilip Kumar, believed to be a good friend of Haji Mastan (Ajay Devgan's role in the film is based on him), has been completely deleted from the script.
Says a source in Balaji, "Ekta, Balaji, director Milan Luthria and the creative team took a decision to drop Dilip Kumar's character completely from the screenplay though he was known to be a close friend of Haji Mastan. It was also believed that Haji's entry into Bollywood was facilitated by Dilip Kumar. Portraying all this would have created too much controversy, which is why we decided to drop his character."
The source adds, "It is generally accepted that Haji Mastan was the first celebrity don in India. Apart from Dilip Kumar, Shashi Kapoor and Mukri were also believed to be friends with Mastan. Dilip Kumar's friend Mukri, the actor, was to produce a film starring Haji Mastan, which was to be based on the don's life. However, the project never got completed for some reason."
All that Ajit Thakur, the CEO of Balaji Motion Pictures, was willing to say was, "No comments."
Mere Garib Nawaz (1973) was the first film produced by Haji Mastan, who became a successful film distributor in the years to come. Deewar was said to be based on Mastan's life though script writers Salim-Javed denied this later.
He is known to have courted a few Bollywood starlets and even tied the knot with one. He gifted her a bungalow situated near Dev Anand's house in Juhu.