From ‘Zero’ to hero again: The Superstar, Shah Rukh Khan

BizAsia Correspondent



If you are a fan of Bollywood movies you would have certainly watched many Shah Rukh Khan blockbusters.

In India he is an emotion, a euphoria, a demigod to millions of people.

Khan’s charisma is unmatched and his appeal is oh so infectious. He has acted in about 90 films so far playing the lead in most of them barring a few where he has done supporting roles or cameos.

King Khan’s latest release ‘Pathaan’ was a humongous hit. The film has made a worldwide gross collection of approximately ₹1,050.3 crore (US$130 million) so far (Google).

While the “Badshah of Bollywood” has enjoyed tremendous success in his professional life and has an enviable fandom, one must not forget that things were very different for this senior actor till recently.

He was out of work for almost four years. Shocking you might think for a man who has ruled Indian cinema for three decades.

It all began in the year 2018 when his movie ‘Zero’ failed to impress at the box office. His previous releases ‘Fan’ and ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ weren’t received very well by the audiences either.

Shah Rukh Khan

Following ‘Zero’, Khan’s fans were in for some bad news. The actor was about to take a hiatus from work and they wouldn’t be watching him again on the big screen for a long time, couple of years in fact.

The internet turned hostile towards him during this period. People (obviously those who weren’t his fans) had a time of their lives on social media platforms ridiculing the actor and branding him as unemployed. Some had a field day calling Khan aged and not worthy of playing a hero any longer.

His PR team faced a huge challenge figuring out how they could still portray the star as somebody who was bankable with regards to his future projects and make people believe that he was definitely not someone who was ready to get written-off, not just yet.

Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Pathaan’

When most cinemagoers had begun to think it was game over for SRK, he rose like a phoenix and put everybody’s assumptions to rest with ‘Pathaan’, a game changer for the 57-year-old. The January 2023 release not only resurrected his career but also managed to give the Hindi film industry a massive hit that it needed so badly especially since no movie had made significant business in the last few years and trade analysts feared that this trend would negatively impact thousands of workers who depended on the industry for their livelihood.

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Well, all this changed with one film.

After enjoying the fabulous response received by ‘Pathaan’ the Khan of all Khans is in a good space.

Interestingly, Khan also got his friend-turned-foe-turned-friend Salman Khan to do a cameo in ‘Pathaan’.

The crowd loved the duo and began anticipating that this may well be a teaser to a full-fledged spy film starring both the Khans in the near future.

Both actors haven’t confirmed or denied this news which has everyone thinking if this actually could become a reality soon.

After enjoying the fabulous response received by ‘Pathaan’ the Khan of all Khans is in a good space.

He has two interesting projects in the pipeline namely ‘Jawan’ and ‘Dunki’ with directors Atlee and Raj Kumar Hirani respectively. Khan is set to play a double role in ‘Jawan’ which would be an action-thriller. The film is about a man who is driven by a personal vendetta to rectify the wrongs in society, while keeping a promise that he made years ago. He comes up against a monstrous outlaw with no fear, who’s caused extreme suffering to many.

‘Dunki’ on the other hand is a comedy/drama that revolves around the subject of rampant use of an illegal backdoor route called ‘Donkey Flight’ by Indians to immigrate to countries like Canada and the USA.

With everything going extremely well for him SRK has had a great year so far and may end it on a terrific note with two more hits. His fans would certainly want that.

Written by Afrah Khan