An estimated Rs.100 crore is riding on Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, who faces jail again after the Supreme Court Thursday upheld his conviction under the Arms Act in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, industry insiders said.
The 53-year-old, who has films like the Zanjeer remake, Policegiri, Munna Bhai 3 and P.K. in the works, was charged with illegal possession of arms and sentenced to six years in jail in 2007. The Supreme Court has now handed him a reduced term of five years.
Tell us: Is Dutt's jail sentence unfair or justified?
Sanjay, who has already served 18 months of his sentence, has been given four weeks to surrender.
"Sanjay's upcoming films Policegiri and Zanjeer might get affected as some portions are still left to shoot... P.K. is scheduled for release next year. Besides 'P.K.' is more of Aamir Khan's film. I would say not more than Rs 100 crore is at stake," trade analyst Komal Nahata said.
Distributor Rajesh Thadani agreed. "Approximately Rs 100 crore to Rs 120 crore is at stake.
"The films, which are midway, will be affected. But it eventually depends on what the makers plan to do, and a lot also depends on how much time Sanjay goes in (the jail) for. Some amount of loss is bound to happen," he added.
Sanjay, the son of Bollywood legends Nargis and Sunil Dutt, has been entertaining moviegoers for over three decades. Last seen in Zilla Ghaziabad in February, he has already wrapped shooting for his part as Sher Khan in the remake of Zanjeer, which has a budget of Rs 50 crore.
"We wrapped up shooting all his scenes just four days back," Amit Mehra, the film's producer, said, adding that "this news has came as a shock and is very heartbreaking".
"I can't imagine this as he is such a wonderful human being and an amazing person," he added.
Several members of the film fraternity, including Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Vishal Dadlani and Pritish Nandy, took to Twitter to share their views on the conviction of the actor, who made a mark for himself with movies like Rocky, Khal Nayak, Sadak, Saajan, Mission Kashmir, Munna Bhai series and with the remake of Agneepath.
"I am truly shattered to hear of Sanju's sentence... the nicest guy I have known just doesn't deserve this. My heart goes out to him," posted Karan Johar, who is producing one of Sanjay's films titled Ungli.
The news of his conviction has especially hit those with whom he shares a close bond, which goes beyond business.
Policegiri producer T P Aggarwal said: "We have completed 95 percent of the film and just 12 to 15 days of shoot is left. The budget for the film should be around Rs.25 crore, but I am not bothered about the film, I am only worried about Sanjay Dutt."
Sanjay also has a part to play in Rajkumar Hirani's P.K., which is said to have been made in a budget of around Rs 50 crore. The actor's part, said to be a cameo, has been closely guarded.
On the endorsement front, Sanjay promotes a jewellery brand with wife Manyata. They have twins - a boy, Shahraan, and a girl, Iqra, born in 2010. Sanjay has an elder daughter named Trishala from his first wife Richa Sharma.
The actor was charged with being in possession of an AK-56 rifle and a 9 mm pistol. The 1993 serial blasts that ripped through India's financial capital killed 257 people and injured more than 700.