Kabir Khan denies direct online release of Ranveer Singh’s 83 despite OTTs offering record price

Kabir Khan’s sports drama 83, starring Ranveer Singh as cricketing legend Kapil Dev, is one of the most-awaited films of the year. With its release being indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, speculation was rife that it might come out directly on a digital platform.

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Several OTT platforms have been involved in a bidding war to purchase the rights of 83 given that trade estimates the film may earn over Rs 300 crore upon its theatrical release. Kabir confirmed that the makers have been offered a whopping sum to release the film directly online but maintained that the film will see a theatrical release.

“83 is a film that has been envisioned and made to be experienced on the big screen and we are ready to wait for things to get normal and then release it in cinemas,” he said.

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Earlier, Reliance Entertainment Group CEO Shibashish Sarkar said that there are no plans for a direct-to-OTT release for 83. “There is no truth in this. As producers and even the director, we all are on the same page that we want to wait for theatrical release for next few months. We will first complete the film then we will wait. If six or nine months down the line, the situation becomes much worse, we will take a call at that time. There is no hurry,” he said.

Also read | Rajeev Khandelwal: ‘My films are an achievement which is just for myself, they’re not to prove a point to anyone’

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“Everybody has shown interest in this project but we are not engaging in any discussion for a straight-to-digital release currently. We will wait for the next four to six months before taking any further call,” he added.

83 will chronicle the Indian cricket team’s historic win at the 1983 World Cup. The film marks the onscreen reunion of Ranveer and his wife Deepika Padukone, who will play Kapil Dev’s wife Romi Bhatia. Tahir Raj Bhasin, Saqib Saleem, Harrdy Sandhu, Boman Irani and Pankaj Tripathi will also be seen in pivotal roles.

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