Well this is the biggest news in the industry these days.

It’s been reported that Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, who is riding very high due to the success of his movie ‘Singh Is Kinng‘, has been paid an astonishing Rs.71 crore ($17m) for a movie!

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The production house in question is UTV Motion Pictures Ltd., but when asked they deny the reports straightforward.

Ram Mirchandani, founder & COO, UTV Rampage Motion Pictures, confirmed that his company had signed up the Singh Is Kinng star. “But the remuneration figure being bandied about is far less,’’ he said, adding warily, “The buzz is market speculation. And we as a company don’t comment on market speculation.’’

Well, though even Akshay denies the news, very well-placed sources say this is indeed true.

Another source in the film trade said, “With most A-list actors wishing to do just one film at a time, film corporations have been forced to fork out big money to get a Khan or a Kumar to greenlight their projects. Shah Rukh Khan sold the worldwide rights of ‘Om Shanti Om’ for Rs 73 crore. And in less than a year, there comes this news of a corporation actually paying an actor a sum close to that amount.’’

The reason behind Akshay asking such never-before-thought of figures is the success of his four consecutive movie. His fortunes have completely changed after films like Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Welcome, Tashan and then Singh Is Kinng.

Look out for Chandni Chowk To China, Akshay might just be the only thing in Bollywood.

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Photos: Rediff