My Name Is Khan, starring Shahrukh Khan and Kajol in the lead roles and directed by Karan Johar, is opening in Mumbai this Friday. Produced by Hiroo Yash Johar and Gauri Khan, the film is being distributed by Hollywood’s Fox Searchlight Pictures that purchased the distribution rights in India and worldwide for Rs 100 crores. With reports of rampage by Shiv Sena against the 63 theatres in Mumbai where the films are being released, the stakes are very high for both SRK and Karan Johar who are liable for the distribution as, generally Mumbai accounts for about 40 per cent of the collection.
The film is noted for the coming together of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the lead roles after many years. Tanay Chheda, who portrays Shah Rukh Khan's character as a child, is internationally recognizable as he portrayed the "middle Jamal" in Slumdog Millionaire that won eight Oscars last year. Also, American actor Christopher B. Duncan, who portrays President Barack Obama, is known for his interpretation of Obama on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The film was shot in India and the United States.
Before the current trouble in Maharashtra, SRK already had some trouble in connection with the film on 14 August 2009 as he arrived in USA to promote My Name Is Khan and to participate in other events around the country including Indian Independence Day, at Newark Airport in New Jersey, he was pulled aside by Immigration Officers after his name popped up on their computers. He was questioned for over an hour -- Khan claims it was at least two hours -- about the purpose of his visit, and he was later released.
The present trouble relates to Shah Rukh Khan’s on his criticism of the fact that players of the Pakistani Cricket Team were not bought by the clubs that took part in the 2010 Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions of cricketers. On this, he was condemned by Shiv Sena, following which there have been protests and demonstrations against him and the party demanded that cinemas in India should refuse to screen My Name Is Khan. Shiv Sena also demanded that Khan (who owns the Cricket team ‘Kolkata Knight Riders’) apologise for his comments, but he said, "I have no idea what I am supposed to apologise for…” On Tuesday January 10, 2010 when theatres opened for advanced bookings there were attacks by alleged Shiv Sena cadres on theatres and booking centers in Mumbai.