Akshay Kumar recently made a thrilling announcement regarding the third installment of the beloved Welcome franchise. Celebrating his 56th birthday, he delighted fans with a lively a-cappella rendition of ‘Welcome To The Jungle,’ generating significant excitement. However, it appears that the production of the highly anticipated film has encountered a setback, with reports suggesting that shooting has been halted due to unpaid dues.
According to an ETimes report, the Federation Of Western Cine Association (FWICE) has appealed to the cast and crew of Firoz Nadiadwala’s ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ to intervene and ensure that the producer settles the outstanding payment owed to filmmaker Anees Bazmee. Apparently, checks issued by Nadiadwala bounced.
It’s important to note that the FWICE had previously issued a non-cooperation directive against Firoz Nadiadwala three years ago. The organization has now written to all the actors involved in Welcome 3, including Akshay Kumar and Disha Patani, urging them not to resume shooting until Firoz Nadiadwala clears the pending dues owed to the technicians who worked on Welcome 2.
BN Tiwari, President of FWICE, stated to ETimes, “We have informed all the actors of the film, including Akshay Kumar and Disha Patni, that the federation has issued a non-cooperation directive against Firoz Nadiadwala due to unpaid dues of Rs 2 crore to the technicians. Firoz Nadiadwala had initially paid the technicians of ‘Welcome 2’ in 2015, with the amount initially being around Rs 4 crore but later reduced to Rs 2 crore. However, Nadiadwala stopped payment of the check after we deposited it.”
He further explained, “We issued a non-cooperation directive in 2015, and we will now implement it as he has started work on his next film. We will not allow him to proceed with the shooting until the payment is cleared.”
Last week, Akshay Kumar shared a clip on his Instagram featuring the entire cast of the film, including Paresh Rawal, Disha Patani, Jacqueline Fernandez, Arshad Warsi, Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, Johnny Lever, Shreyas Talpade, Tusshar Kapoor, and others. They were seen singing a lively version of the title song from ‘Welcome’ in camouflage uniforms, with Mika Singh and Daler Mehndi joining in for a twist. Akshay Kumar captioned the promo with, “Khud ko aur aap sab ko ek birthday gift diya hai aaj. If you like it and say thanks, I’d say Welcome(3) 😬 #WelcomeToTheJungle In cinemas, Christmas – 20th December, 2024. #Welcome3.”
Amidst the turmoil, ‘Welcome Back To The Jungle’ is poised to be the first of three films under Firoz Nadiadwala’s banner to go into production, as the script has been ready for some time. The filmmaker plans to introduce a new twist to this comedic caper by having Sanjay Dutt and Arshad portray the infamous gangsters Majnu and Uday. This duo, known for their chemistry as Munna and Circuit, is set to explore new dimensions in this exciting franchise, as reported by the entertainment portal PinkVilla earlier.
‘Welcome Back To The Jungle’ will be directed by Ahmed Khan and produced by Feroz Nadiadwala and Jyoti Deshpande. Fans can look forward to its release on Christmas, December 25, 2024.