Mumbai: Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra Monday said nothing can replace a good script, not even a big star.
With the failure of big stars and success of smaller, content-driven films at the box office this year, Chopra said one cannot compromise on the story and rely solely on the star power.
In facts, stars should not even come into consideration while the story is being written, he added.
"The first thing is, the script should be written devoid of big stars. The trouble is when you start thinking that this is the story that I'm going to do for this guy, that is where you start making compromises which is the disaster that is hitting you all now.
"Because it is not the script, it becomes a vehicle for the star and when it becomes a vehicle, it ceases to be a script," he told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional event of his production
"Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga".
The filmmaker, who has backed films such as "Munnabhai" series, "3 Idiots", "PK" and "Sanju", has written "Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga" as a story and not as star vehicle for Anil Kapoor, who came onboard later.
While the verdict is still out on Shah Rukh Khan's "Zero", which has received mixed reviews, films of both Aamir ('Thugs of Hindostan') and Salman Khan ('Race 3' failed spectacularly at the box office this year.
"I think all the so called stars must realise that the script comes first. During 'Dangal', Aamir Khan had hosted a party and I was there. Someone asked me about Aamir and his top position in the industry. I was like, if the film would have had Hrithik Roshan in it, it would have worked anyway.
"But if it was a bad film, it wouldn't have worked.' Then Aamir called me and said, ?you are taking a dig on me at my own party.' Now ask him what has happened? Whatever I had said back then was true or false?," he said in an apparent referral to the "Thugs" debacle.
Asked whether it was the case of big stars taking over the content, Chopra disagreed and said, "This is wrong to say. Films like 'Casablanca', 'La La Land' is a great film and it has great stars and similar is the case in films like 'Dangal', 'Lagaan', '3 Idiots', 'Kal Ho Naa Ho'.
"Basically there has to be a marriage of the two. There is no fight between script and stars, they both are on the same side of the fence. It is not one or the either. It is about togetherness. Content was always big."
Sharing similar thoughts, Kapoor said stars or actors must mould themselves according to scripts.
"When you start your career, a script chooses you, then you become a big star and there are certain filmmakers and writers who write scripts for actors like in case of Rajinikanth. There comes a time in an actor or star's life that you have to mould yourself as per the script," Kapoor said.
Kapoor, who turned 62 today, said, the first look of the film that was shared Monday with media, has been the best birthday gift to him.
The romantic comedy also stars Sonam Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Juhi Chawla in the lead.
"Sonam spoke and then she forgot as usual. Vinod called me for the film, I heard it and liked it. It is always the material, the story that draws everybody together. That is the basic foundation," Kapoor said.
Produced by Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani Films in association with Fox Star Studios, the film is scheduled to be released on February 1 next year.