12 Noted Bollywood Directors Whose Films Released After Their Demise

12 Noted Bollywood Directors Whose Films Released After Their Demise View All Articles

Posted On: 19 Apr 2021 | Last Updated: 23 Aug 2021


They say death is the ultimate truth that everyone has to embrace. Bollywood is no different as many noted and unknown personalities' sudden death has left millions of fans and fraternity people shattered and disappointed. Be it personalities who have worked in front or behind the camera their contributed can never be forgotten. Like the late showman, Raj Kapoor had said that the show must go on. There have been instances due to the untimely death of an actor or actress, he or she is replaced by another. A Bollywood producer or directors’ death comes as a rude shock to many but others make sure to release the film at any cost to realize the director’s last dream. Some Bollywood director’s untimely death has spelled doom for its cast and crew, resulting in the movie getting shelved, unreleased, or a delay in release. We look at 12 such unfortunate instances when Bollywood directors did not live to see the fate of their unreleased films which got released after their death.


1. Narendra Bedi (Taaqat - 1982)

Narendra Bedi was one of the hotshot directors of the 70s and early 80s who delivered hits like Bandhan, Jawani Diwani, Benaam, Rafoo Chakkar, Adaalat and Sanam Teri Kasam. He died in October 1982 just a couple of months before his action-drama film Taaqat starring Vinod Khanna, Rakhee Gulzar and Parveen Babi, released. Another film of his which was complete and took a while to release after his death was Aakhri Sanghursh in 1990 starring Vijayendra Ghatge, Kaajal Kiran, Mukesh Khanna, Sarika, Shakti Kapoor and Helen. He is survived by his actor sons Manik and Rajat Bedi.

Narendra Bedi

2. K. Asif (Love And God - 1986)

Director K. Asif’s who was one of the leading directors of Hindi film industry had made Indian cinema’s then biggest blockbuster Mughal-E-Azam in 1960 announced Love And God immediately announced after the release of Son of India in 1962 which received a lukewarm response at the box-office. Initially titled Kais Aur Laila starring Guru Dutt and Nimmi, K. Asif’s film was based on the legendary love saga of Laila – Majnu. Guru Dutt’s sudden death in 1964 left the film incomplete and almost shelved when Asif recast Sanjeev Kumar as Kais and resumed production in 1970. A year later in 1971, the unfortunate demise of director K. Asif left the film incomplete once again. Fifteen years later, Asif's widow Akhtar Asif completed the film with the help of producer-director K. C. Bokadia and eventually released the film in 1986.

K. Asif

3. Kishore Kumar (Mamta Ki Chhaon Mein - 1989)

Legendary actor-singer-director Kishore Kumar’s last film Mamta Ki Chhaon Mein was launched with much fanfare in 1982. The film which was nearly five years in the making told the story of a mother and her sons had Leena Chandavarkar playing the female lead while the other star cast included Amit Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Debashree Roy, Rajesh Khanna, Raj Babbar, Anoop Kumar and others. Though Kishoreda passed away in October 1987 he had already shot the entire film but couldn’t release it. Wife Leena and son Amit did some patchwork and released it in 1989 with the direction credited to Kishore as well as Amit Kumar. The film as expected performed badly but always will be remembered as Kishoreda’s last film as director.

Kishore Kumar

4. Raj Kapoor (Henna – 1991)

Henna was Bollywood’s legendary showman Raj Kapoor’s biggest dream project after Mera Naam Joker which he had planned extensively and started shooting in 1987. Due to his demise in 1988 during the filming, the remaining portions of it were directed by his eldest son Randhir Kapoor. Rated among the top 10 Bollywood directors, Raj Kapoor in every sense was looking to follow it up with another biggie after the much successful Ram Teri Ganga Maili in 1985. Reportedly, most of the songs of Henna were recorded while he was alive which were composed by Ravindra Jain. Written by K.A. Abbas and acclaimed Pakistani writer Haseena Moin, Henna which starred Rishi Kapoor, Zeba Bakhtiar and Ashwini Bhave in the lead, performed very well at the box-office thus, becoming the perfect tribute paid by his sons to their legendary filmmaker father.

Raj Kapoor

5. Vinod Mehra (Gurudev- 1993)

Vinod Mehra started his Bollywood career as a child actor who went on to play lead and supporting roles in films like Amar Prem, Do Phool, Anuraag, Nagin, Bemisaal, etc. He announced his maiden directorial venture Gurudev starring Rishi Kapoor - Anil Kapoor - Sridevi in a double role with much fanfare but unfortunately was left incomplete due to his sudden demise in 1990. Director Raj N. Sippy later completed and released the film in 1993. The film had a run-of-the-mill sort of story and tanked at the box-office despite having a huge star cast and good music by R.D. Burman.

Vinod Mehra

6. Mazhar Khan (Gang - 2000)

Married to actress Zeenat Aman, lesser-known actor Mazhar Khan made his acting debut in Ramesh Sippy’s Shaan in 1980. He also appeared in a few more films like Ek Hi Bhool, Sohni Mahiwal, Ghulami, and turned director with Gang. His directorial debut starring Nana Patekar, Juhi Chawla, Kumar Gaurav, Jackie Shroff and Javed Jaffery took some time to reach the finishing line. His untimely death in 1998 stalled the film but the actors of Gang came together to complete the remaining shoot and release it in 2000. The film had its share of continuity jerks with patchy camerawork leaving the audiences disappointed.

Mazhar Khan

7. Anant Balani (Mumbai Matinee / Ek Din 24 Ghante – 2003)

Director Anant Balani who was known for making films like Gawaahi, Patthar Ke Phool and Joggers’ Park, unfortunately, breathed his last in 2003 leaving behind two yet to be released films namely Mumbai Matinee starring Rahul Bose, Perizaad Zorabian, Vijay Raaz, Anusha Dandekar and Saurabh Shukla and Ek Din 24 Ghante starring Rahul Bose, Nandita Das, Piyush Mishra and Vineet Kumar, respectively. Though both films fared below expectations at the box-office, Anant will always be remembered as a promising director who touched upon sensitive issues.

Anant Balani

8. Bunty Soorma (Humko Tumse Pyaar Hai - 2006)

Bunty Soorma was one of the trio-producers of the Cineyug banner which included Karim Morani and Aly Morani who produced movies like Arjun, Yodha, Vardi, Damini, Dushmani and Raja Hindustani. Bunty Soorma planned to turn director for his banner and went on to make the forgetful love-triangle Humko Tumse Pyaar Hai which starred Bobby Deol, Arjun Rampal and Amisha Patel in the lead. He died in 2002 during the making of the film which was wrapped up later by director Vikram Bhatt and released in 2006. The film was a non-starter at the box-office as it failed to get a proper release.

Bunty Soorma

9. Yash Chopra (Jab Tak Hai Jaan - 2012)

Yash Chopra also figures in the list of Bollywood directors whose films released after his demise. There couldn’t have been a better end to producer-director Yash Chopra’s cinematic career who passed away in 2012 just a few days before his last directorial Jab Tak Hai Jaan’s release. The filmmaker who gave us Waqt, Daag, Deewaar, Trishul, Silsila, Darr, Dil To Pagal Hai, etc., little did anyone know that it would be his swan song and wouldn’t be around to see the release of it and its success. The romantic love story which starred his favourite Shahrukh Khan along with Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma became his last directorial which eventually was released on the assigned date by his producer-director son Aditya Chopra.

Yash Chopra

10. Shamin Desai (Rush - 2012)

Ad-man turned director Shamim Desai started Raftaar 24x7 when Emraan Hashmi was hot property and a big draw among the front-benchers in the cinema halls. Due to production hassles, the film got delayed by a couple of years, and to make matters worse Shamin’s sudden death in 2011 delayed the making of the film further. Shamin’s wife later decided to take up the mantle of completing the film with the support of the cast and crew. The makers re-titled it as Rush and released it in 2012. Despite the star cast promoting it for charitable causes, the film performed badly due to continuity jerks in the narration and a lackluster script.

Shamin Desai

11. Joy Mukherjee (Love in Bombay – 2013)

Bollywood’s heart-throb of the 60s, Joy Mukherjee who later turned director and producer had made Love in Bombay which was to be released in 1971 but due to lack of funds and proper distributors, the film was lying in the cans for many years and could be released. The film which was touted to be a trilogy of sorts by Joy in the ‘Love’ series namely Love in Simla (1960) and Love in Tokyo (1966), had known stars like himself, Waheeda Rehman, Kishore Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Sonia Sahni. The death of Joy in 2012 made his elder son Toy decide to release the film in 2013. The film looked outdated and stale by the time it reached the theatres finding no takers at the ticket counters.

Joy Mukherjee

12. Rituparno Ghosh (Sunglasses / Taak Jhaank - 2013)

Well-known award-winning writer and director Rituparno Ghosh who was equally famous in Tollywood (Bengali) as well as Bollywood joins the list of directors whose films released after their sudden demise. Known for directing films like Raincoat, Chokher Bali and The Last Lear, Rituparno, unfortunately, passed away in May 2013 leaving behind the soon-to-release movie Sunglasses starring Jaya Bachchan, Madhavan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Naseeruddin Shah and Raima Sen, was touted to be the first-ever comedy thriller. However, the film released in November 2013 but found no takers at the box-office.

Rituparno Ghosh