The Khan trio — Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh — along with actors Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn continue to rule the roost as the undisputed reign men of the marquee. But even as their stardom remains undented over the years — as several new faces have entered and exited the industry — the search for their successors finally seems to have come to a fruition with the young hotties Ranbir Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor and Imran Khan following in the footsteps of their seniors.
Trade and industry observers alike agree that it’s safe to say that Ranbir, Shahid and Imran are the future trio of Bollywood.
“They are a combination of looks, market viability, brand value and are all thorough professionals. Plus they all have loyal fan bases and their individual strengths. Having proven themselves at the box-office, they are the perfect heirs to the Bollywood crown,” they say.
What’s more, after experimenting with hatke fare in the uber-niche zones over the years, and wooing the multiplex audiences, all the three now seem to be targetting the desi single screen junta in the coming year.
“So far all the three have proven to be huge crowd-pullers among the multiplex audience. And with the current films in hand, they seem keen to up their mass appeal quotient at the box-office. This will certainly propel them closer to the stardom enjoyed by their predecessors, who boast of being high-rankers with both the multiplex as well as single screen audience,” they add.
While Ranbir, after tasting sweet success with Barfi!, is looking at a massy entertainer Besharam, Shahid has chosen masala fare with Namak and Phata Poster Nikla Hero. Even Imran, the poster boy of urban cinema, has moved into rustic territory with Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola and Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Again, while balancing it with Milan Talkies and Punit Malhotra’s untitled next.
However, trade analyst Komal Nahta points out that in this Ranbir is ahead of the rest. “He has time and again proven to be exceptionally talented and just like Aamir, didn’t need a festival to deliver a hit. Shahid too is extremely talented, but now needs to be very careful in his choices, as his wrong choices in the past have affected his standing. As for Imran, he needs to break out of the uber barrier and go massy, which he is finally doing now,” explains Nahta.
A leading filmmaker says, “Of course, there’s Hrithik Roshan who stands out in a league of his own, but when it comes to Gen X, these three names are hot and happening, but more on the multiplex circuit till now. It’s good to see them gravitate towards more earthy and grounded characters that will have a wider connect and make them all-round stars. It’s too early to pitch them in the league of the Khan trio, but they are the best bets.”