Jawan (translated as ‘Soldier’) is an Indian action thriller film released in 2023. Directed and co-written by Atlee, marking his debut in Hindi cinema, the movie is produced by Gauri Khan and Gaurav Verma under Red Chillies Entertainment. The film features Shah Rukh Khan in a double role, alongside Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, Deepika Padukone (in a special appearance), Priyamani, and Sanya Malhotra.
The shooting began in September 2021, spanning locations such as Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Rajasthan, and Aurangabad. The film boasts a musical score by Anirudh Ravichander, cinematography by G. K. Vishnu, and editing by Ruben.
Initially scheduled for a June 2, 2023 release, the film was postponed due to unfinished post-production work. Ultimately, it hit theaters on September 7, 2023, coinciding with Janmashtami, garnering positive reviews from critics.
- Shah Rukh Khan in a dual role as Vikram Rathore and Azad
- Nayanthara as Narmada Rai
- Vijay Sethupathi as Kaalie Gaikwad
- Deepika Padukone as Aishwarya Rathore (special appearance)
- Priyamani as Lakshmi
- Sanya Malhotra as Dr. Eeram
- Sunil Grover as Irani
- Riddhi Dogra as Kaveri
- Sanjeeta Bhattacharya as Helena
- Girija Oak as Ishkra
- Lehar Khan as Kalki
- Aaliyah Qureishi as Janvi
- Yogi Babu as Pappu (Tamil version)
- Mukesh Chhabra as Pappu (Hindi version)
- Eijaz Khan as Manish Gaikwad, Kaalie’s brother
- Sangay Tsheltrim as Juju
- Seeza Saroj Mehta as Suji Rai, Namrata’s daughter
- Utsav Narula as Mahavir Jain
- Viraj Ghelani as Dubey
- Bharat Raj as Irai Anbu
- Ravindra Vijay as Mukund Menon
- Kenny Basumatary as Naazir Ahmed
- Jaffer Sadiq as Sudhir
- Naresh Gosain as Agriculture Minister
- Ashwin Kaushal as Health Minister
- Sukhi Garewal as Murad
- Abhishek Deswal as Abdul
- Sai Dheena as Sudhir
- Ashlesha Thakur as Alia Gaikwad, Kaalie’s daughter
- Smita Tambe as Kalki’s mother
- Omkar Das Manikpuri as Kalki’s father
- Atlee as himself in song “Zinda Banda”
- Sanjay Dutt as Madhavan Naik (cameo)
In late 2019, there were speculations about Shah Rukh Khan collaborating with Tamil director Atlee. Atlee confirmed the project during the promotion of his film ‘Bigil.’ By May 2021, reports indicated that filming would begin soon. The movie is produced by Gauri Khan under Red Chillies Entertainment, with Gaurav Verma as a co-producer. On June 3, 2022, the company officially announced the project, disclosing a budget of ₹300 crore.
Atlee co-authored the screenplay with S. Ramana Girivasan, marking their fourth consecutive collaboration. Sumit Arora handled the dialogues. Atlee retained most of his regular crew, including cinematographer G. K. Vishnu, editor Ruben, art director T. Muthuraj, and stunt director Anal Arasu. Additionally, several stunt directors were hired, including Spiro Razatos, Craig Macrae, Yannick Ben, Kecha Khamphakdee, and Sunil Rodrigues. The film’s dance choreographers include Farah Khan, Vaibhavi Merchant, Shobi, and Lalitha.
Mukesh Chhabra served as the casting director. Shah Rukh Khan was slated to portray a dual role, playing both a father and a son, requiring him to undergo six distinct transformations. Nayanthara was chosen as the female lead, marking her debut in Hindi cinema. The cast also includes Priyamani, Sunil Grover, Sanya Malhotra, and Yogi Babu, who reunited with Khan after a decade since their last collaboration in ‘Chennai Express’ (2013). Initially offered to Rana Daggubati, the antagonist role eventually went to Vijay Sethupathi due to Daggubati’s health concerns. Deepika Padukone joined the cast in August 2022 for a special appearance filmed in Chennai. In September 2022, there were reports of Vijay making a cameo, which the director later refuted. Finally, in March 2023, Sanjay Dutt joined the cast for a cameo appearance in an action scene.
Principal photography commenced in September 2021 in Pune, with Shah Rukh Khan and Nayanthara participating in a 10-day shoot. This marked the first film to be shot at Pune Metro. Khan resumed shooting in Hyderabad in June 2022, while Nayanthara joined the Mumbai schedule on June 26, 2022, following her marriage. Family sequences were filmed during this Mumbai schedule.
In August, the next schedule took place in Chennai, where Deepika Padukone filmed her cameo. Vijay Sethupathi later joined for action sequences between Khan and Sethupathi. The song “Zinda Banda” was also shot during this schedule, featuring 1,000 dancers and choreographed by Shobi Paulraj. It was later reshot and included in the Tamil and Telugu versions as “Vandha Edam” and “Dhumme Dhulipelaa,” respectively.
A month-long Chennai schedule concluded on October 7. The subsequent schedule was held in Rajasthan in October, with Khan and Nayanthara participating. In February 2023, Khan filmed chase scenes, followed by Sanjay Dutt joining for an action-packed cameo on March 20, 2023. In April 2023, a song titled “Chaleya” featuring Khan and Nayanthara was shot in Mumbai and at Bandra–Worli Sea Link. Another song featuring Khan and Deepika Padukone for her cameo was filmed at Film City, Mumbai, both choreographed by Farah Khan. In mid-July, a song titled “Not Ramaiya Vastavaiya,” featuring Khan and Nayanthara and choreographed by Vaibhavi Merchant, was shot at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai.
Post-production work on the film commenced in January 2023 and continued for six months due to the extensive use of computer graphics and visual effects. The editing process was overseen by Ruben. The film’s visual effects, handled by Red Chillies VFX, were supervised by Harry Hingorani, with Keitan Yadav serving as the VFX producer. Additional visual effects technicians were brought on board by the company in April. Color grading was done by Ken Metzker of Red Chillies Color, and sound design was undertaken by Kunal Rajan.
In early May 2023, Nayanthara recorded the dubbing for her character, while Raveena Ravi provided the Tamil and Telugu voiceovers for Deepika Padukone’s role. The final version of the film was completed by early August 2023 and submitted to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). It received a U/A certificate from the Censor Board on August 22, 2023, with a confirmed runtime of 169 minutes.
The film’s music is crafted by Anirudh Ravichander, marking his debut as an independent composer in Bollywood, having previously contributed a song to ‘David’ and the background score for ‘Jersey.’ Initially, director Atlee approached A. R. Rahman for the composition, but Rahman declined for undisclosed reasons, leading to Anirudh’s selection as the composer. T-Series secured the music rights for ₹36 crore, setting a record price for a Hindi album.
Anirudh has composed seven original songs for the soundtrack, including titles like “Zinda Banda,” “Chaleya,” “Not Ramaiya Vastavaiya,” “Aararaari Raaro,” “Jawan Title Track,” “Faraatta,” and “Chaleya” (Arabic version). Irshad Kamil and Kumaar have penned the lyrics for these tracks.
Jawan had its theatrical premiere on September 7, 2023, in various formats including standard, IMAX, and 4DX, as well as in Hindi and dubbed versions in Tamil and Telugu. Initially, the film was slated for release on June 2, 2023, but reports in May 2023 suggested a delay until August 2023. However, it was later confirmed to release on the originally scheduled date. Jawan made history as the first Indian film to debut at IMAX Leonberg, one of the world’s largest cinema theaters. Furthermore, it marked a milestone as the first Hindi film to simultaneously release in Bangladesh on the same day.