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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Akshay, Bhansali to team up once again

Prashant Singh, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 25, 2012
First Published: 19:58 IST(25/7/2012) | Last Updated: 20:44 IST(27/7/2012)

The combination of Akshay Kumar and action films is a formula that just can’t go wrong. Producers feel that they are just as sure of a hit as they are of him single-handedly beating up a dozen bad guys in the climax. And after the success of Rowdy Rathore, Akshay, we learn, has been confirmed for yet another Sanjay Leela Bhansali production. Once again, it’s a remake of a South Indian film.

While Rowdy Rathore was a remake of the Telugu hit Vikramarkudu (2006), this one is a take on the 2002 Tamil blockbuster, Ramana. The film has already been remade in Telugu as Tagore (2003), and then in Kannada as Vishnu Sena (2005).

“Both (Akshay and Sanjay) had a great time working on Rowdy Rathore. Sanjay is confident that Akshay can carry off this role perfectly, given his image as a rugged action hero,” says a source from the project.

But both actor and producer are busy with their respective films — Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2 and Ram Leela, which Sanjay is also directing. So this one isn’t likely to kick off before early next year. “Right now, Sanjay has put everything on hold and is focusing on Ram Leela. Akshay is busy with the pre-production work of Once Upon… At this point, the female lead and director haven’t been finalised yet,” says our source.

Akshay Kumar

We’ve also learnt that Akshay will be playing a vigilante who fights corruption in the action-packed film. Naturally, you can expect a number of stunt sequences. The word going around is that Ghajini (2008) director AR Murugadoss, who also directed the original Ramana, will direct the Hindi version. However, our source says, “Sanjay is yet to take a final call on that.”

Early chatter about the movie seemed to indicate that Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan would be the leads, and that apparently, Sanjay had approached Madhur Bhandarkar to direct it, but he turned down the offer.

Both Akshay and Sanjay remained unavailable for comment.

Southward bound
Son of Sardaar: Ajay Devgn in the remake of Maryada Ramanna (2010, Telugu).
Kick: Salman Khan in the Hindi version of the 2009 Telugu hit with the same name.
Saamy: Sanjay Dutt in the Bollywood version of the 2003 Tamil hit.
Vettai: Supposedly being remade with Shahid Kapoor and Ali Zafar.

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