Govinda Naam Merastarring Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar and Kiara Advani released live on OTT on 16 December 2022. Directed by Shashank Khaitan and produced by Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta and Khaitan under the banner Dharma Productions, the comedy-thriller film was originally titled Mr. Lele.
Mr. Lele was set to star Varun Dhawan, Bhumi Pednekar and Janhvi Kapoor and a poster of the film featuring Dhawan was also released. However, the Covid19 pandemic led to the film being cancelled. In January 2021, the script was revived with a new cast – Vicky Kaushal replaced Dhawan, Kiara Advani stepped in for Kapoor and Pednekar also found a role for himself.
Like several recent films, Govinda Naam Mera will also premiere digitally. As per Times now, the satellite and digital rights of the film have been sold for a whopping Rs 62 crore to Disney+ Hotstar. The digital rights are valued at Rs 42 crore while the satellite rights are valued at Rs 20 crore. The film will premiere on the OTT giant on December 16.
“It’s a comic entertainer, but not exactly a film ideal for the big screen in today’s world. That’s why the creators decided on a direct-to-digital premiere,” a source close to the development told the media, as per Times now. “The initial market expectation of Dharma Productions for Govinda Naam Mera was Rs 80 crores, but the buyers were not too keen on spending such a huge amount on the film. Finally, the deal was locked at Rs 62 crore,” added the source.
While Vicky Kaushal plays background dancer Govinda Waghmare, Bhumi plays Gauri, Govinda’s wife and Kiara will be seen as Suku, Govinda’s girlfriend. Govinda Naam Mera is Kaushal’s second film under Dharma Productions after the horror film Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship.
Talking to The HinduKaushal said he wanted to do a light-hearted role after working in the military action film Uri: The Surgical Strike and the historical drama Sardar Udham. “I am someone who is inherently fun-loving and goofy. Post films like Uri and Sardar Udham – which were emotionally draining – I wanted to explore that version of myself on screen. Govinda Naam Mera came to me at the right time.”
Kaushal also revealed about preparing for a comic role. To do that, he watched comedy movies from the 90s. “A month before the film went on floors, I started watching films from the 90s starring Govinda, Kader Khan and Johnny Lever, just to see the kind of conviction they brought to the pitching of the performances and to absorb the grammar of that comedy .”
Kaushal will next be seen in Meghana Gulzar’s Sam Bahadur, which will tell the story of India’s first Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who served the Indian Army for four decades. Kaushal also has Laxman Utekar’s untitled film in his line-up, which will also star Sara Ali Khan.
Advani, on the other hand, is gunning for it Satyaprem Ki Katha with Kartik Aaryan, while Pednekar will next be seen in Ladykiller opposite Arjun Kapoor.