Akshay out of Darshan camp?

Jan 28, 2006 Subhash K. Jha,

Mumbai, Jan 28 (IANS) It looks like both the Darshan brothers - Suneel and Dharmesh - have moved away from Akshay Kumar. While Dharmesh is going to direct Akshaye Khanna, Suneel, too, has decided to move on and is all set to launch son Shiv as leading man.

Shiv, who has been undergoing rigorous acting-dancing-action training, would be the second scion of a filmmaking family -- after Harman Baweja, son of Harry Baweja -- to be launched in style within one year.

While Harman's debut vehicle would be a swanky hi-tech adventure thriller, Suneel is plotting an out-and-out actioner to highlight his son's personality.

"The boy is not just a fine lad but handsome and six ft one inch tall. If I may say so myself, he is star material in league with Dharmendra. Affable, warm and trustworthy...

"Of course, I will produce his film. But he is free to be directed by anyone else if he likes... though we are great friends and Shiv should have no problem being directed by me," Suneel told IANS.

What is left unsaid is that Shiv steps in where Akshay Kumar has so far been the monarch of all he surveyed -- and not just in the Darshan camp but also in the larger picture as the new-age Dharmendra.

Though the director who has worked with Akshay in his most important films, including "Jaanwar" which turned Akshay's career around, is tight-lipped, it seems unlikely that Suneel and Akshay will work together in the near future.

According to close associates of the director, Akshay hasn't been in touch with Suneel for months.

"There's no immediate project. For now 'Dosti', which releases in December, is our last film together. Before I launch my son in 2007, Manish Malhotra will finally launch his directorial venture under my banner. He has promised not to take up any assignments as a costume designer after Karan Johar's film so he can focus on direction," said Suneel.

Will Manish's film star Akshay?

"That is entirely Manish's call. I have nothing to do with it," is Suneel's terse reply.

"I'd like to say one thing. The three turning points in Akshay Kumar's career have been 'Jaanwar', 'Ek Rishtaa' and 'Andaaz'. The first got him out of the potboiler mould. The second gave him respectability as an actor. And 'Andaaz' is Akshay's only solo hit to date.

"I'll miss working with Akshay. But we'll only come together now when the comfort level returns to being the way it was when we made 'Jaanwar' and the other hits."

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