The first film that Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar produced together was Kaal, released in 2005.
Karan Johar has frequently discussed how, prior to his father Yash Johar's passing in 2004, he knew nothing about the filmmaking business. The senior Johar left him a letter that acted as a step-by-step tutorial on how to operate the firm because he knew he had been reprimanded by his father for signing cheques with so much love earlier.
In a recent podcast interview, Karan Johar recalled how a family friend delivered a letter written by his father to him after his death. That letter actually stated where the funds were in terms of mutual funds and investments and that there were certain people he should trust and others he shouldn't trust; this is how one should take the business forward. KJo said that the letter served as a "bible" for him as he took over Dharma Productions. It was a business letter, not an emotional one. Yash Johar had cancer, and Karan knew his dad had a short life after he was diagnosed with it.
Karan disclosed that the same family friend who sent his father's letter to him also informed him that his father was aware of his lack of knowledge regarding the economic side of the film industry. He recalled being too upset at the moment, so the family friend who handed the letter stated that he knows this is only because he knows Karan is dumb; he was so frightened and scared, and while he was alive, one would have never wanted this conversation to happen.
Karan requested assistance from his friend Apoorva Mehta after the death of his father. The filmmaker explained how Dharma Productions was founded. He called up Apoorva, who then decided to leave his entire life in London and film with luggage and baggage overnight. Even Apoorva, according to Karan, made Yash Johar's letter his Bible.
The first movie Karan produced was Kaal in 2005, and he said that he had no idea how to go about doing it. Shah Rukh Khan, who has been among his close friends, provided him with the motivation he required. Even in the song Kaal Dhamaal from the movie, SRK makes a cameo.
Karan recalls Shah Rukh contacting him and telling him that it was a small film and that he should make it. "Make your mistakes and learn from them," said the superstar. Then they made Kaal naive about how to produce and how to sell, and then they created films one after the other.
Karan Johar is gearing up for his upcoming directorial, Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani. Alia Bhatt, Ranveer Singh, Jaya Bachchan, Dharmendra, and Shabana Azmi all feature in the film.