When Rajesh Khanna’s decline made Amitabh Bachchan a new Superstar
After this naturally the duo were obligated to Rajesh Khanna and all the scripts they conceived were written with Khanna in mind but call it destiny that Khanna, who was at the peak of his career declined all the scripts they wrote and the scripts went to an upcoming actor called Amitabh Bachchan. Yes, ZANJEER, DEEWAAR and SHOLAY were all offered to Khanna but he declined due to some odd reasons.
By the time Rajesh Khanna realized his folly it was too late and Bachchan became new ‘Superstar’ thanks to the brilliants scripts of Salim-Javed.
Thus, when Rajesh Khanna was down and out he decided to fall back on the writing genius of Salim-Javed and urged them to write another script identical to ZANJEER that fetched Amitabh Bachchan stardom after a series of flops.
The two obliged and wrote a similar revenge thriller with Rajesh Khanna playing an angry police officer (like Bachchan in ZANJEER), who is out to avenge his father’s killer.
The movie called ZAMANA was a big budget multi-starrer with top stars like Rishi Kapoor, Poonam Dhillon, Ranjeeta, Girish Karnad, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Om Puri. The film was directed by Ramesh Talwar.
Readers may note that besides an identical story of ZANJEER, the title too has an uncanny resemblance. It starts with the letter ‘Z’ as Rajesh Khanna was superstitious and in all circumstances wanted to make a grand comeback, regain his lost glory the and take back the crown of ‘Superstar’ from Amitabh Bachchan.
But the irony is that the movie was a super duper failure when released in 1985 at the box-office and the dream of Rajesh Khanna to regain stardom died a silent death.