Abbas Tyrewala, Pathaan's dialogue writer, detailed how the Salman Khan's special appearance in which his character Tiger appears to assist Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan at a critical juncture was rewritten multiple times. He said it was to achieve the correct balance for both the characters and performers. He added that the scene was done in 'a collaborative spirit'. And for many, the highlight of the film is the moment itself. The two stars last appeared together on screen in Shah Rukh's 2018 flick Zero.
Pathaan, directed by Siddharth Anand, stars Shah Rukh as a special agent. His character chases down a former rogue agent Jim (John Abraham) to stop him from spreading a virus that can kill millions worldwide. In order to apprehend him, he forms a special team led by Dimple Kapadia's Nandini.
During one scene in which Pathaan is kidnapped and beaten by the evil guys, Salman Khan's Tiger makes a gallant appearance to save him. They indulge in some banter while beating up the bad guys.
Abbas talked about this special moment in an interview. He said, "You know when Shah Rukh and Salman are going to be on screen together as Pathaan and Tiger, it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the opportunities to entertain the audience suddenly become so much more. On the other hand, you also have to be very, very careful about how you play it. So that the people don’t get so caught up with Shah Rukh and Salman that they forget Pathaan and Tiger. That balance needs to be there."
He added, "So just because Tiger is making an entry, you can’t give that whole scene away to Salman and make Shah Rukh less. But at the same time, Salman is making a special entry in Shah Rukh’s film. So, no way that you can make Salman not be an event. That has to be something that gives the thrill to the audience. So how do you balance it where Pathaan’s film stays Pathaan’s film but Tiger’s moment becomes Tiger’s moment and both get to shine?"
The Salman-Shah Rukh scene was "written and re-written a lot of times," according to the writer-director. It all came together thanks to the collaborative spirit of producer Aditya Chopra, director Siddharth, and the actors.
Pathaan, which stars Deepika Padukone as Pakistani spy Rubai, released on January 25. The Hindi film has grossed over 700 crore worldwide. Pathaan will repay the favour and come to Tiger's aid in Tiger 3. The film will be directed by Maneesh Sharma, and will release later this year.