Belying rumours, the Bachchans are very much in 'Om Shanti Om'

Oct 26, 2007 IANS

New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) In Shah Rukh Khan's much-flaunted mega item number in his forthcoming "Om Shanti Om", old timers Dharmendra, Jeetendra and Mithun Chakraborty shake a leg along with a bevy of 28 other top stars - but Amitabh Bachchan and son Abhishek are conspicuously missing.

For those thinking gleefully that the song is another example of the Shah Rukh-Amitabh famed rivalry, it may be a bit of disappointment to know that both the Bachchans are very much in the film.

"The Bachchans are not in the title song, but will feature in the other sequences," a source close to the "Om Shanti Om" team told IANS.

"How can I not have Mr. Bachchan and Abhishek? Both father and son have a special appearance in my film. They come in a scene just before the song," Farah Khan, who approached 34 stars but managed to get only 31, was quoted as saying.

Another well-known actor who couldn't comply with Farah's request was Aamir Khan. According to the director, Aamir was too busy shooting "Ghajini" and couldn't take time out.

Set in the 70s film industry "Om Shanti Om", is about a struggling actor Om, who falls in love with a successful actress, played by pretty newcomer Deepika Padukone. But before Om can woo her, he dies in an accident. He takes a new avatar in "another birth" as a big star and goes in search of his "previous life" love.

Bachchan's presence in "Om Shanti Om", a Shah Rukh Khan home production, puts an end to speculation about the animosity between the two stars.

Speaking at the HT Leadership Summit in the capital earlier this month, Shah Rukh had described his rivalry with Amitabh as a media exaggeration. The presence of Abhishek and Amitabh in his film substantiates his statement that there is no rivalry between him and the Bollywood icon.

The stories of their supposed rivalry intensified after Shah Rukh became the host of STAR TV's quiz show "Kaun Banega Crorepati", which was till then known as Amitabh's show, and ran it in his own style successfully. Soon after that, he acted in a cheeky remake of Amitabh's 70s hit "Don", adding grist to rumour mills of the bad vibes between the two superstars.

Then followed Ram Gopal Verma dropping his "Time Machine" with Shah Rukh in order to complete his two projects with Amitabh - "Nishabd" and "Ram Gopal Verma Ke Aag".

Despite being in London at the time of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards function in Yorkshire, Shah Rukh gave the event a miss. In fact, he missed the 2006 IIFA function too. The reason was said to be Bachchan being the brand ambassador of IIFA.

At the time Amitabh was unwell last year, Shah Rukh bagged many of his ad assignments - with ICICI Bank, Navratan Oil and the government Pulse Polio ads.

Although Amitabh has often denied any rivalry, he didn't invite Shah Rukh for his son Abhishek's wedding with Aishwarya Rai.

Perhaps "Om Shanti Om" marks a new friendly beginning for both stars.

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