With big production houses teaming up on a number of projects, co-producing seems to have caught the imagination of Bollywood. Harshikaa Udasi lists the films that have been planned

The recently-released Parineeti-Siddharth romcom Hasee Toh Phasee had two rather unlikely parties laughing all the way to the bank: Dharma Productions and Phantom Productions. Karan Johar is the head of the former, while the latter is run by four filmmakers — Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikas Bahl and Madhu Mantena! They certainly make for strange bedfellows, considering that Karan, even with his digressions, is most popular for his grandeur and family-themed films, while the others are known for their experimental out-of-the-box cinema. Insiders revealed that Karan wanted someone with the sensibility of Anurag to be associated with the film and for Phantom, the access to the Dharma banner and its deep pockets obviously made a lot of sense.

This is not the first and only instance of Bollywood production houses joining hands. In spite of the headache involved (think royalty, think copyright, think management, think creative control, think egos!), co-producing seems to be a trend that’s caught the imagination of Bollywood. What bigger proof than one of the largest production studios in the country — Yash Raj Films — announcing that they would encourage in-house producers under their banner.

So here is what you can anticipate in the coming months. When the mighty join, either they mightily succeed or they mightily fall.

1. Balaji Motion Pictures and Pritish Nandy Communications’ Shaadi Ke Side Effects

Pritish Nandy Communications’ had produced Pyar Ke Side Effects in 2006. They could have jolly well gone ahead and produced the sequel too by themselves, but they reportedly got Vidya Balan for the lead thanks to her rapport with Ekta Kapoor hence Balaji’s support had immense logic. Whether it pays off or not will be disclosed by this week as the film has just released.

2. Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiadwala’s 2 States

Both are ‘big’ producers in their own right. Sajid has had films such as Judwaa, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Housefull and Housefull 2 to his credit (and Kambakht Ishq, Anjaana Anjaani and Teri Meri Kahani to his discredit) but is gearing up to launch himself as director with Salman Khan’s Kick and Jacki Shroff’s son Tiger as hero in Heropanti. Not just these, with Imtiaz Ali’s Deepika-Ranbir film Window Seat and Kabir Khan’s Saif-Katrina film Phantom under his banner, Sajid is clearly opening up in a big way.

He bought the rights to Chetan Bhagat’s novel and Karan Johar’s AD Abhishek Varman was roped in to direct 2 States. Karan’s association with the film made sense with two of his protégés in it. Industry watchers say that while Alia Bhatt gets to do one more film under his wing, it will not be seen as yet another outing with the same banner which can mar future prospects.

3. Dibakar Banerjee and Yash Raj Films for 3 films

Last year, Yash Raj signed its first-ever three-film co-production deal. With Dibakar Banerjee. That almost sounds like the two ends of a lodestone saying hello to each other. Dibakar is known for films such as Khosla Ka Ghosla, Love Sex Aur Dhokha and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and can’t really be confined to any genre. Yash Raj is on an experimenting spree and is meeting with every kind of box office response that there can be. Two films are being directed by Dibakar himself (the first being Detective Byomkesh Bakshi) while his associate Kanu Behl will make his debut with the third — Titli, which has already managed to create a buzz at the NFDC Film Bazaar. In fact, for Titli, Yash Raj has even got yet another powerhouse of indie cinema — The Lunchbox producer Guneet Monga — on board. She will help in the international sales, promotion and festival strategies for the film.

4. Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor’s Badtameez Dil

Are they doing it or not? — the big question has arisen post reports of a rift between the heavyweight producers even though there has been no announcement to that effect. Karan and Ekta’s much-hyped Badtameez Dil was to star Emraan Hashmi and Kareena Kapoor but Bebo reportedly didn’t want any intimate scenes with serial kisser Emraan and the last bit of news was that the shoot has been postponed. The extravaganza will be worth-watching if it unfolds, for both Karan and Ekta are masters of their game.

5. YRF’s Maneesh Sharma-produced Dum Laga Ke Haisha

Ground-breaking news this one as Maneesh Sharma will go down in history as the first-ever independent producer within Yash Raj Films banner with Dum Laga Ke Haisha! Aditya Chopra, who turned the studio policy on its head in 2007 with the release of five films with different directors, is now introducing the concept of independent producers under his banner. Maneesh has been his most successful protégé with Band Baaja Baaraat and the recent Shuddh Desi Romance. However, he will not direct this film (he is directing Fan also under the YRF banner starring Shah Rukh Khan) and debutant Sharat Katariya will helm it.