Omicron panic in Bollywood: Future uncertain

Just when the box office had begun to look up, the Omicron scare has put the pressure of the pandemic again on the badly-hit Indian entertainment industry

Representative photo
Representative photo
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Subhash K Jha

Just when the box office had begun to look up, what with Sooryavanshi and now Tadap opening well, the Omicron scare has put the pressure of the pandemic again on the badly-hit Indian entertainment industry.

“We don’t know where this is going to go. We can only take one day at a time,” says producer Ajay Rai of Jar Pictures who is currently shooting a secret project in Lucknow.

“A sense of muted panic has already gripped the entertainment industry. So many producers have lined up big projects for release during the coming weeks and months. In fact, ambitious producers have booked coveted Friday in November –December 2022 and 2023. But do we even know what is going to happen two weeks or one month from now?” Ajay Rai voices the fear that has gripped the Indian entertainment industry all over again.


Anees Bazmi who has his big Kartik Aaryan comedy Bhoool Bhulaiya 2 scheduled for 25 March 2022 feels uncertainty is the future of the entertainment industry. “I suppose we will have to live with the fear of Covid for a very long time. Now with this new variant coming in, nobody knows what will happen.”

Sanjay Leela Bhansali whose Alia Bhatt-Ajay Devgan starrer Gangubai Kathiawadi is scheduled for February 18, 2022, feels the entertainment industry needs to think beyond its own losses. “Thousands of lives are at stake. Millions have already lost their lives. We can’t be bothered about our films at a time like this.”

Producer-director Vipul Shah feels it’s too early to comment on the impact of the Omicron: “It’s too early to know how serious this virus is. I would wait and watch. Our industry is showing amazing resilience and I have no doubt that we will get through this also and come out with flying colours.”

Telugu actor Adivi Sesh whose war bio-pic Major is scheduled for release all over India in multiple languages on February 11 is hopeful that this time the situation won’t get out of hand. “It might affect India, including the entertainment industry. So far, I don’t see an increase in deaths worldwide and that is cautious good news. If our vaccine drives continue to hold, and the new variant doesn’t cause premature death, we should be able to beat this. Optimistic. Fingers crossed.”

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