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Aditya Chopra
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Born Aditya Chopra
( 1971-05-21 ) 21 May 1971 (age 43)
Mumbai , Maharashtra , India
Residence JVPD , Mumbai , India
Ethnicity Punjabi
Alma mater Bombay Scottish
University of Mumbai
Occupation Director
Producer ( Film & Telefilm )
Distributor ( Film & Telefilm )
Co-founder of Yash Raj Studios
Chairman of Yash Raj Films
Years active 1988–present
Known for Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Ek Tha Tiger
The Dhoom Trilogy
Religion Hinduism
Spouse(s) Payal Khanna
(m. 2001-2009; divorced) [ 1 ]
Rani Mukherjee
(m. 2014-present) [ 2 ]
Parents Yash Chopra
Pamela Chopra
Awards National Award (as director) [ 3 ]
Filmfare Award (screenplay) [ 4 ]
IIFA Award (story) [ 5 ]
Stardust Award (dialogue) [ 6 ]
Screen Award (as producer) [ 7 ]
Zee Cine Award (as producer) [ 8 ]
Apsara Award (as producer) [ 9 ]

Last updated on 16 June 2014 at 07:29.

Aditya Chopra is a three-time National Award winning Indian film director , producer , screenwriter and distributor . [ 10 ] His work as a director includes Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Mohabbatein (2000), and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008). [ 11 ]

He is also the current chairman of India[replacesinglequotehere]s 45 year-old multi-national film, media and entertainment conglomerate, Yash Raj Films ( YRF ). Chopra has written and produced a number of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films under the banner like Veer-Zaara (2004), Hum Tum (2004), Bunty Aur Babli (2005), Fanaa (2006), Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008), New York (2009), Band Baaja Baaraat (2010), Ishaqzaade (2012), Ek Tha Tiger (2012), Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012), Shuddh Desi Romance (2013), The Dhoom Trilogy ( 2004 , 2006 & 2013 ) and Gunday (2014). Chopra has also tried to break away from typecast and forayed into production of off-beat films with unique subjects in projects like Kabul Express (2006), Chak De India (2007), Rocket Singh (2009), Aurangzeb (2013), Titli (2014) (Chopra[replacesinglequotehere]s entry into nu -Experimental Cinema ), Detective Byomkesh Bakshi (2014) and Paani (2015) (Chopra[replacesinglequotehere]s entry into Mainstream Hollywood ), that do not necessarily fit into the realms of Masala films . As of December 2013, Chopra has produced the highest grossing film of Indian Cinema [ 12 ] [ 13 ] and has produced six other films that have accumulated worldwide gross earnings of more than INR 200 crore [ 14 ] (the most for an Indian film producer). Moreover, in the year 2014, Chopra became the first Indian producer to move towards a true film studio model through Independent projects helmed by producers, writers and directors under the YRF banner. [ 15 ]

Apart from emerging as the most equitable brand in Indian Entertainment , his company has earned the status of a movie mogul in the Indian market, through the years of its existence. YRF is often credited for breaking away from the small business model that was historically used by the Indian film industry and introducing a rigid hub and spoke model by establishing distribution networks across the globe. With a majority of its films (especially produced by Chopra) being part of the highest grossing Indian films of all time , the company is estimated to be worth INR 4000 crore (US$670 million) [ 16 ] (as of second quarter of Fiscal 2013) by multiple NSE and BSE analysts, thereby making it the biggest and most successful film production company in the history of Indian Cinema . [ 17 ] Chopra has however remained extremely media-shy and has battled constant reports of an alleged social anxiety disorder and/or APD , throughout his two-decade career. [ 18 ]

Chopra, the elder son of the late filmmaker Yash Chopra and Pamela Chopra , was born on 21 May 1971. Aditya was diagnosed with severe APD as a child and recovered from the disorder throughout his teenage. He completed his formal education and acquired his Indian Certificate of Secondary Education from Bombay Scottish School . He graduated from Hassaram Rijhumal College of Commerce and Economics along with Anil Thadani, Karan Johar and Abhishek Kapoor. [ 19 ] He was married to Payal Khanna, until their divorce in 2009. In April 2014, he married actress Rani Mukerji in a private wedding ceremony in Italy . [ 20 ]

Chopra started his flim making career at the age of 18 as an assistant director, working with his father for films like Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991) and Darr (1993). Chopra, after gaining a respectable amount of experience, started independently at the age of 23 with the all time blockbuster Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge Starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol for which he was the director and writer. The film was scripted by Chopra and produced by his father Yash Chopra, under the Yash Raj Films banner. Chopra started work on the script of the film in 1990, at the age of 19, and gradually spent time making about five drafts of the film[replacesinglequotehere]s original script. Chopra even managed to convince his brother Uday Chopra and Karan Johar, both aspiring film makers, to enter the film industry as assistant director[replacesinglequotehere]s along with the film. Chopra once told that the presence of his relatives during the making of the film worked as a huge emotional support during the making of this him. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge eventually went on to become one of the biggest hits of all time [ 21 ] and won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment . [ 22 ]

Chopra eventually went on to write the dialogues and the story of his father[replacesinglequotehere]s 1997 blockbuster Dil To Pagal Hai (which won the National Award ), also made under Yash Raj Films. His next film as a director was Mohabbatein with Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan which gave the yester year star a new life in his film career and also launched his brother Uday Chopra into the film industry. The film was also written and co-produced by Chopra and fared very well at the box office. The next film under the Yash Raj Films banner was Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai , in 2002 and also starred his brother Uday. The film did moderately well at the box office. [ 23 ]

In 2004, Chopra produced Hum Tum , Dhoom and Veer Zaara (for which he was also the screenwriter) under the YRF banner. All three films went on to become critical and commercial blockbusters, earning more than INR 199 crore (US$33 million) [ 24 ] (unadjusted for inflation) in the worldwide market. The films became the seventh , fourth and highest-grossing Indian films of 2004. The company won most of the Indian film awards in the year, with Veer Zaara also winning the National Award . This was considered a major break-through for this film producing company and cemented its position as the leader of Indian Entertainment for the following decades.

Chopra then produced and wrote several other highly commercial and critically acclaimed films over the years, namely Bunty Aur Babli , Salaam Namaste , Fanaa , Dhoom 2 and Chak De India (which also won the National Award ). Chopra also made his third film as a director in 2008 with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi starring Shah Rukh Khan and launching newcomer Anushka Sharma . The film became the highest grossing film for Shah Rukh Khan and Yash Raj Films at that time, grossing INR 172 crore (US$29 million) [ 25 ] in the worldwide market. These films established Yash Raj Films as the most powerful film production company in the history of Indian cinema, with a net worth of INR 4000 crore (US$670 million) [ 16 ] (trade and stock market estimate) and making Chopra one of the most influential people in the country.

YRF launched a number of budding screenwriters and directors under their banner throughout these years. Directors and screenwriters such as Karan Johar (his Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was co-produced and released by Yash Raj Film Distributors), Kunal Kohli , Kabir Khan , Sanjay Gadhvi , Jaideep Sahni , Siddharth Anand , Shimit Amin , Habib Faisal , Shaad Ali , Maneesh Sharma and Vijay Acharya debuted under Yash Raj Films and have gone on to become independent entities in films. The company also produced films for filmmakers such as Anil Mehta and Pradeep Sarkar under their banner. Yash Raj Films was eventually ranked at Number 1 (among the most successful film production companies in India) in a survey conducted by Filmfare and at Number 27 (among the most successful film production companies in the world) in a survey by the Hollywood Reporter , both under the vice-chairmanship of Chopra. [ 26 ]

On realising the lack of a proper film shooting studio during their years of film making, YRF gradually went on build their dream film production studio in the year 2005, located in Mumbai city. The first film to be shot in YRF Studios was the company[replacesinglequotehere]s 2006 critical and commercial blockbuster, Fanaa . Some of the notable films of outside banners that were shot in the studio over the years are; Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), Partner (2007), Taare Zameen Par (2007), Dostana (2008), Wanted (2009), 3 Idiots (2009), My Name Is Khan (2010), Dabangg (2010), Bodyguard (2011), Ra.One (2011), Agneepath (2012), Chennai Express (2013), Jai Ho (2014) and P.K. (2014).

The studio was created and designed by Chopra and his then wife, Payal Khanna and is equipped with high technology film shooting equipment and goods. The studio sprawling over 20 acres (81,000 m 2 ) and towering up to six floors is used to shoot films for the company and is also rented for other film makers and television shoots like 10 Ka Dum and Kaun Banega Crorepati for Sony and Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain , Koffee With Karan and Satyamev Jayate for STAR . [ 27 ]

Apart from film production, Chopra[replacesinglequotehere]s Yash Raj Films also distributed (theatrical, home entertainment and satellite) and canvassed a wide variety of Independent films that came out of the Parallel Cinema industry of India like Godmother (1999), Zubeidaa (2001), Maqbool (2004), Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities (2004), Black (2005), My Brother Nikhil (2005), Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005) and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (2005) that helped them leverage against a powerful film production house such as his and thereby reach a wider audience on their release. Yash Raj Film Distributors also released several big-budgeted films such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Biwi No.1 (1999), Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), Koi Mil Gaya (2003), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Krrish (2006) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006). In 2013, the company[replacesinglequotehere]s distribution leg reportedly sold the satellite rights of its highly anticipated venture, Dhoom 3 for INR 75 crore (US$13 million) [ 28 ] to Sony Entertainment Television. [ 29 ]

After constantly delivering musical successes like Darr , Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Dil To Pagal Hai throughout the years of its existence, the company decided to leverage on their growing clout in the music industry. YRF established their independent feature music distribution leg under the name YRF Music in 2004. The leg was developed for the purpose of digital as well as physical distribution of all the film soundtracks released under the banner. The first soundtrack to be distributed under YRF Music was the company[replacesinglequotehere]s critical and commercial musical blockbuster Veer Zaara . The leg established careers of a lot budding music composers throughout the years, who leveraged themselves against scoring music for YRF projects, like Jatin Lalit ( Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge ), Shankar Ehsaan Loy ( Bunty Aur Babli ), Pritam ( Dhoom ), Vishal Shekhar ( Salaam Namaste ), Salim Sulaiman ( Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ), Amit Trivedi ( Ishaqzaade ), Ram Sampath ( Luv Ka The End ), Sajid Wajid ( Daawat-e-Ishq ), Sohail Sen ( Mere Brother Ki Dulhan ), Raghu Dixit ( Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge ), Sachin Jigar ( Shuddh Desi Romance ) and Amartya Rahut ( Aurangzeb ). [ 30 ]

The year 2010 marked the entry of YRF into Indian Television . YRF Television , launched on 1 January 2010, have coupled with Sony Entertainment Television for the broadcast of five new shows running on the prime time television slot. [ 31 ]

The Walt Disney Company entered Indian Entertainment in 2007 through a three-film co-production agreement ( Ta Ra Rum Pum , Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic and Roadside Romeo ) with Yash Raj Films. Disney [replacesinglequotehere]s move was seen as a bid to increase its global clout and finally entering the increasingly lucrative Indian Cinema arena. Moreover, it offered a 49% acquisition of YRF at INR 2500 crore (US$420 million) [ 32 ] (unadjusted for inflation) in 2009, which took the valuation of the Indian entertainment company to INR 5000 crore (US$840 million), [ 33 ] at the time. However, YRF declined the acquisition offer made by the American conglomerate, as it wanted to continue as an independent film production house in India. But in 2011, a 100% share acquisition offer by Walt Disney Studios was accepted by UTV at INR 2000 crore (US$340 million) [ 34 ] (unadjusted for inflation). The two companies together established Disney UTV , that now functions as the Indian subsidiary of the American company.

The company saw an all time low, with several of their high budgeted films not doing well at the box office despite favourable critical reviews and the company thereby suffering losses amounting to millions from 2007 to 2010. The film[replacesinglequotehere]s broke YRF[replacesinglequotehere]s perfect success ratio and were oddly released one after another. Some of the most unsuccessful films produced under the banner were Jhoom Barabar Jhoom , Laaga Chunari Mein Daag , Tashan , Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic , Roadside Romeo , and Pyaar Impossible . Chopra, then took over as the Vice Chairman of Yash Raj Films in 2010, soon after the release of the film Badmaash Company under the same banner. [ 22 ]

In 2011, Yash Raj Films took the critical decision of banking on the successes of 3 Idiots , Ra.One and Bodyguard and went into production of three individual Mainstream films with Aamir Khan for Dhoom 3 (for which Chopra wrote the story), Shahrukh Khan for Jab Tak Hai Jaan (for which Chopra wrote the story, screenplay and dialogue) and with Salman Khan for Ek Tha Tiger (for which Chopra wrote the story), a feat that has never been achieved by any film production company, till date. The move was seen as a landmark deal by YRF as it engaged three of the most successful box office actors of Indian Cinema in independent projects, at the time. Moreover, the three films turned out to be the most expensive productions by YRF; Ek Tha Tiger was produced at INR 75 crore (US$13 million), [ 35 ] Jab Tak Hai Jaan was produced at INR 60 crore (US$10 million) [ 36 ] and Dhoom 3 was produced at INR 100 crore (US$17 million). [ 36 ]

All three of these films shattered Box Office records of India and went on to become some of the highest grossing films of their time. Ek Tha Tiger , which released on the 66th Independence Day of India, earned approximately INR 310 crore (US$52 million) [ 38 ] and thereby became the fourth highest grossing film of Indian Cinema. It is currently the highest grossing film for Salman Khan. Jab Tak Hai Jaan opened worldwide on the Diwali day of 2012 and went on to earn INR 250 crore (US$42 million) [ 40 ] and became the fifth highest grossing film in India. Dhoom 3 released in (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu & Arabic) on the Christmas week of 2013 and grossed approximately INR 535 crore (US$90 million) [ 12 ] [ 13 ] in the worldwide market and went on to become the highest grossing film of Indian Cinema, as of January 2014. The three films gradually helped re-cement the dominant position of YRF in the Indian Entertainment market.

After the demise of Chopra[replacesinglequotehere]s father, Yash Chopra, in 2012, it was confirmed that Aditya Chopra was to be elevated to the position of Chairman of Yash Raj Films and eventually taking over the INR 4000 crore (US$670 million) [ 16 ] company. YRF gradually went on to re-position itself into an extremely agile and aggressive film producing company that came out with an increasing number of films with each passing year, under the guidance of Chopra and the company[replacesinglequotehere]s upper management. [ 50 ]

Apart from producing big-budgeted films with established actors, YRF also announced several films featuring relative new-comers in the fourth quarter of Fiscal year 2012; Aurangzeb starring Prithviraj Sukumaran, Sashaa Agha and Arjun Kapoor, Gunday starring Ranveer Singh, Bewakoofiyan starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Sonam Kapoor, Daawat-e-Ishq with Aditya Roy Kapoor, Mardaani with Rani Mukerji and Kill Dil starring Ali Zafar and Govinda. [ 51 ] The films are slated to release all through 2013 and 2014 and are seen as a strategic move by the company to infuse newer talent into Indian Cinema in the form of actors, screenwriters, directors and technicians. In a bid to break away from the traditional star system of Indian Cinema , the company ventured into producing low-budgeted independent film[replacesinglequotehere]s with new talent (actors, creatives and technicians) from 2008. Apart from working with upcoming actors, the company independently launched several new faces as leading actors in several of their big-budgeted films through their home banner and through Y Films , [ 52 ] including:

Sensing a keen following of Indian Cinema in Japan during the Festival de Cannes , YRF Studios decided to re-release Ek Tha Tiger on 8 March 2013 and Jab Tak Hai Jaan on 20 April 2013 in an association with The Nikkatsu Corporation . The deal was further extended to the release of Dhoom 3 on 25 December 2013 during the MAMI Film Festival . [ 53 ]

In a bid to strengthen their foothold in the United States and the European market, the company established its international film producing leg; YRF Entertainment , which was solely focused on production and financing of international film content. The first film to independently release under the banner was the 2012 romantic comedy The Longest Week which starred Olivia Wilde , Jason Bateman and Billy Crudup . The film did moderately well in the worldwide box office and managed break-even . [ 54 ]

The next film to be released under YRF Entertainment is The Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth . The film is co-produced by Arash Amel . Primary filming of the project is complete and the film is slated for a March 2014 release. The company also announced Paani , a Hollywood film production directed by Shekhar Kapur , starring Sushant Singh Rajput and its maiden Anglo-Indian film project that would be co-produced by Mira Nair under the Mirabai Films banner and directed by Shimit Amin . In 2013, the company also announced its next venture, Seducing Ingrid Bergman based on the life of Ingrid Bergman , written by Chris Greenhalgh and Arash Amel . [ 55 ]

YRF forayed into regional Indian film production in 2013, with Aaha Kalyanam , a remake of their 2010 critical and commercial blockbuster Band Baaja Baaraat starring Nani and debutant Vaani Kapoor. The Tamil-Telugu bilingual project would be directed by Gokul Krishna and produced by Chopra. YRF plans to launch both the lead actress and director with this film. The untitled film completed the first schedule of its principal photography in Chennai in May 2013, with the next two schedules to be held in Hyderabad and Mysore in July 2013. Moreover, the studio also released Tamil and Telugu versions of its Dhoom 3 for the South Indian market. The company plans to deliver remakes from its existing catalog as well as new and original regional content (in Tamil and Telugu), but also content that is set to break into other regional film markets (Malayalam and Tulu) of the south. [ 56 ]

Throughout the years of its existence, YRF inked various strategic business agreements with independent film and media entities present in the country.

The company was caught in a legal entanglement in 2007 when the Government of Uttar Pradesh moved the Supreme Court against Yash Raj Films for Aaja Nachle because the film[replacesinglequotehere]s soundtrack contained objectionable lyrics, according to them. A petition to ban the film and stall its release in Uttar Pradesh (along with Punjab & Haryana territories) was filed to the Central Government of India by the Uttar Pradesh Government on 29 October 2007. The 3-day ban was eventually lifted after Yash Raj Films changed lyrics of the objectionable song. [ 68 ]

Photographers of the Indian media caught a glimpse of the extremely reclusive Chopra on 27 December 2008. Chopra[replacesinglequotehere]s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Aamir Khan [replacesinglequotehere]s Ghajini were the two big Indian releases of the year 2008 and were pitted against each other by the Press; Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was to release on Diwali and Ghajini was to release on Christmas , with a gap of a few weeks between them. Chopra was present at a private screening of Ghajini that was held by Khan, for members of the film industry . Chopra was seen leaving through the back entrance of the theatre premise around 2 AM, just before the end credits of the film. On spotting multiple journalists outside the venue, he reportedly panicked and desperately sprinted towards his car to avoid being photographed. Chopra pulled down the sun visor of his car and hid inside it as he drove away. He even dropped his phone and damaged it, in the process. Images of a scared and petrified Chopra covering his face with his arms became front page news of a leading Indian tabloid . The article called Chopra a very powerful man, behaving like a trapped animal , even though it carried a statement by "one of his close friend[replacesinglequotehere]s" who called him a simple, introverted guy . The event however fuelled further reports of Chopra suffering from an alleged social anxiety disorder and/or APD . [ 69 ]

Moreover, in 2012, Ajay Devgan , Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Eros International together moved the Competition Commission of India against Yash Raj Films and Aditya Chopra, accusing the company of using monopolistic business practices and rampantly abusing their dominant position and clout in the Entertainment Industry of India by entering into a tie-in arrangement with 1,500 single screen film exhibitors (out of a total of 2,100) of India, that obliged them to showcase the company[replacesinglequotehere]s Jab Tak Hai Jaan (and not Son Of Sardar ) on the Diwali week of 2012 and continue its theatrical run for two weeks after the worldwide release. The trio eventually moved the Competition Appellate Tribunal on 30 October 2012 against Yash Raj Films but were turned down by the bench heading the Tribunal. Both films opened on November 13, 2012; Jab Tak Hai Jaan released in 3500 screens and Son Of Sardar released in 2000 screens, in the worldwide market. However, in November 2013, the CCI dismissed the case filing as they found YRF to not be in contravention of the Competition Act of India. [ 70 ]

The mysterious life of Aditya Chopra

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