Is Jimmy Sheirgill turning out to be the closest threat that Deols have in their own home ground, Punjab and other territories where their films more often than not do well? Well, if the battle of supremacy when it comes to bagging the biggest deals of their respective films in Punjabi domain is concerned, it is well turning out to be the case.
The latest development is that overseas rights (excluding UK) of Jimmy's next outing Dharti, a Punjabi-Hindi bilingual, has been sold for a handsome amount of 1 million Australian dollars to Dreamworld Entertainment, Australia. There are bids in UK (a hot territory) for the rights to be sold to the best buyer. Meanwhile the producers have retained rights in India and would be distributing films themselves here.
"There are multiple reasons behind such big money coming into picture", says a trade source, "Jimmy is a numero uno superstar in Punjabi films today after the all time blockbuster success of his last release Mel Karade Rabba (which is busy fetching awards for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best film and Best Music already). It went on to even smash the records of Sunny Deol's Gadar - Ek Prem Katha at number of places in Punjab. In overseas too it was a huge success, especially in Australia, UK and USA."
Prior to that, Jimmy has enjoyed worldwide blockbusters in Tera Mera Ki Rishta and Munde UK De. For the audience who either swore by Deol films all this while or were exposed to some average Punjabi films from other stars, these films came like a whiff of fresh air. And now with director Navaniat Singh and Jimmy being a force after working together in Tera Mera Ki Rishta and Mel Karade Rabba, audience is keenly anticipating a hat trick in the form of Dharti.
"Yes, Dharti has been sold for 1 million Australian dollars in overseas just on the basis of first Look promo being shown to the distributors", confirms Jimmy who is also the producer of the film, "It was a huge responsibility for us to make something good and big after our previous work. Also, since it is a Punjabi-Hindi bilingual, we have to ensure that film's treatment has the kind of class that cuts boundaries. It's the film's script that was of paramount importance and we worked hardest on that. Everything else came in later."
Dharti is a political thriller set in Punjab and would see a worldwide release on the occasion of Vaisakhi, a huge festival for Punjabis, in April this year.