Pathaan was Bollywood’s biggest success in 2023. While many Hollywood movies have boasted a return to theatres, Pathaan truly did that for India. The movie that saw the industry’s biggest star Shah Rukh Khan return after a hiatus of almost 5 years, also did the unthinkable. Pathaan was the beginning of a Yash Raj Films (YRF) shared universe! Which was, honestly, the biggest surprise of the movie. So now that Pathaan is in the same universe as others, here are a few YRF Spy universe movies that would be great fully realized franchise.
Please note that the following will contain major spoilers for Pathaan.
One Of The YRF Spy Universe Movies Is In Development
Pathaan’s huge success had a lot to do with its well-written story and action blockbuster elements. But what was really unique is how the movie was able to retcon and combine other YRF spy universe movies into one shared world. The best sequence was Pathaan himself (Shahrukh Khan) in trouble on a Russian prison train, about to get killed. When his backup arrived to save the day, and it was none other than Tiger (Salman Khan) from the Tiger movies, it was quite a surprise. Ek Tha Tiger and Tiger Zinda Hai were YRF’s own hit spy movies starting in 2012, and now they are in the same YRF Spy Universe movies as Pathaan.
It was brilliant and made complete sense given both main characters work for the same intelligence agency of RAW in both movies. The connection made sense. So it makes even more sense that they announced the next instalment of this franchise to be a Tiger Vs. Pathaan movie. Although, why it’s a ‘vs’ when the characters were working together as buddies in Pathaan, is anybody’s guess. Let’s hope that the YRF Spy Universe movies aren’t making the same mistakes as the DCEU by rushing to a team-up movie before letting the individual franchises breathe.
YRF Spy Universe Prequel: Jim & Kabir
One of the subtler connections to the larger YRF Spy Universe was in a line of dialogue. When introducing the back story of the villain of Pathaan, Jim (John Abraham), we got a massive name drop. Colonel Luthra (Ashutosh Rana) who was a character in another spy movie from 2019, War, mentions the protagonist of that movie.
Luthra reveals that Jim and Kabir (Hrithik Roshan) came up together in the spy agency, and were contemporaries. This means the hero of War, and the villain of Pathaan were, at one point, friends. Before a tragedy led Jim to the dark side. It’s totally giving Obi-Wan and Anakin vibes. So a prequel film within the YRF Spy Universe movies featuring Jim and Kabir’s early academy days as they train to be spies together would make complete sense. Maybe Kabir was part of in the mission where Jim lost his wife, unable to save them, which is what turned Jim evil. Losing another partner would also retroactively add layers to the events of War, where a similar thing happened with his partner in that story.
The Female-Led Action Movie We’ve Been Craving!
The invention of the YRF Spy Universe of movies also allows to have something audiences have wanted for years. Seeing how they’ve already connected Jim, Kabir, Pathaan and Tiger as being contemporaries within the same Indian spy agencies, that can also be the same for the Pakistani spy agency they’re always fighting, ISI. In the Tiger movies, Zoya (Katrina Kaif) is an ISI agent who falls in love with Tiger. While Rubai (Deepika Padukone) in Pathaan is another ISI agent who teams up with Jim, and then Pathaan to save the day. Jim even makes a crack in Pathaan about both the Tiger-Zoya and Pathaan-Rubai love stories.
So it’s entirely feasible that Rubai and Zoya were also contemporaries during their time at ISI. A prequel film chronicling their journey, and how maybe their paths crossed as part of another mission, could be the awesome female-led action movie that fans have been clamouring for, for years! These prequels could also potentially setup an international evil group that could come back in future movies as the larger threat that forces all these characters to unite.
The YRF Spy Universe Movies’ Ultimate Avengers Style Crossover
Despite the Tiger Vs. Pathaan movie apparently coming in 2024, there would be a better way to combine all the characters for a massive team-up film. Once these prequel movies establish these characters’ connections and associations with one another from years ago, they could come together for one massive movie.
Imagine an action blockbuster franchise movie with Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan along with other a-list Bollywood stars in supporting and villain roles coming together. The mind explodes at the thought. And it could all be possible with the existence of this YRF Spy Universe.
What do you think of all these potential movies? Are there any other ideas you have for other Bollywood shared universe? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @theshahshahid.