What if Amitabh Bachchan’s character Jai from the iconic Sholay had survived that gun battle? Have you ever tried to visualize the movie with that ending?
Well, it seems that it almost went down that way. Speaking on the 40th anniversary of the legendary movie which had a stellar cast to its name such as Hema Malini, Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Amjad Khan and Sanjeev Kumar, here’s what Amitabh revealed:-
“We discussed what could be done with the film so that it does better. Many people felt that audience was unhappy with my death in the film. There were many sequences in Sholay which were attractive. One was widow remarriage. They felt just when the woman was getting a better life, we removed that with my death,” said Amitabh.
When Sholay did not do well on 15th August 1975 upon its release, the cast and crew of the film thought that Amitabh Bachchan’s Jai should not have died in the end and plans were underway to shoot an alternate ending, in which he lived.
Amitabh Bachchan also said that following the film’s initial disastrous response, everyone was on board to give an alternate happy ending, in order to improve the financial prospects of the movie. However, director Ramesh Sippy was the one who insisted on waiting it out and after a couple of days, the magic of Sholay seemed to grip the entire nation.
“Also, in January same year Deewar where my character had died. There was discussion that I shouldn’t have been killed again. So, it was decided that I will be shown alive. It was Saturday. We decided we would go to Ramnagar and reshoot it on Sunday and release the new print on Monday. “Equipments for shooting were also ordered but while we were going back after discussion Ramesh Sippy said, ‘Let’s wait till Monday. Let’s see what happens. If it does not workout even then, then it is destiny’. What happened on Monday was extraordinary,” said Bachchan.
Phew, that was close. We almost saw a different ending to Sholay! Though we did get to see a different version of the movie, when it was released in 3D in Pakistan.