Renowned writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar has weighed in on the ongoing discussions about nepotism in the film industry, particularly in relation to his daughter Zoya Akhtar’s upcoming film, The Archies. In a recent interaction during Sahitya Aajtak 2023, Akhtar passionately defended Zoya’s casting decisions, asserting that she shouldn’t be questioned for choosing the cast for her project.
According to Akhtar, Zoya is taking a personal risk by investing her own money in the film. He emphasized that as the person backing the project, Zoya has the right to involve anyone she desires in the cast without facing scrutiny. Akhtar stated, “She has all the right to take anybody under the sun; she shouldn’t be questioned. She is taking the risk, it is her project, and she is backing it.”
Addressing the broader issue of nepotism in the film industry, Akhtar argued that unlike in bureaucratic settings, where lower-level individuals may have the authority to hire, nepotism in the film industry is unlikely. He pointed out that success in the film industry is determined by audience appreciation, akin to an unbiased election. Stars, according to Akhtar, are created by the audience, and individuals cannot be forced into stardom.
Zoya Akhtar’s film, The Archies, written by Akhtar, Reema Kagti, and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon, is set to premiere on Netflix on December 7, 2023. The film, based on the popular American comic book series, features a cast including Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Agastya Nanda, Vedang Raina, Mihir Ahuja, Aditi Saigal, and Yuvraj Menda. The project has already generated buzz through its promo, trailer, and songs.