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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Introducing: Remake Raja Akshay Kumar

Prashant Singh, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 23, 2012
First Published: 15:43 IST(23/8/2012) | Last Updated: 18:29 IST(23/8/2012)

A few days ago, HT Café reported that Akshay Kumar would be playing the lead in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s remake of the Tamil hit, Ramana (2002). Now it’s confirmed that popular south director, M Raja, is set to helm the yet-untitled Hindi version. After teaming up with Prabhudheva for Rowdy Rathore, this is the second time Akki will work with a south Indian director.

A source tells us, “It was Bhansali who suggested Raja’s name. When he discussed it with Akshay, the latter was more than happy, because he is aware of Raja’s super-hit record. Since then, Akshay has had a couple of meetings with Raja about the remake.” In all likelihood, Akshay will start shooting for the film early next year.

Raja is famously known as ‘Remake Raja’ down south. The reason is that all his seven blockbusters have been Tamil remakes of Malayalam or Telugu hits. “Both Bhansali and Akshay are happy to have Raja on board for their project. They know that he has a strong hold over the action-masala genre,” adds the source.

Incidentally, Raja’s 2010 blockbuster, Thillalangadi, was a remake of the 2009 Telugu film, Kick, which is now being made in Hindi(as Kick) with Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha. Until a few days ago, rumours were rife that the Ramana remake will be helmed by its original director, AR Murugadoss(he also directed the Aamir Khan-starrer Ghajini in 2008). However, the reports turned out to be unfounded. Bhansali had initially approached Madhur Bhandarkar, but the director declined because he wasn’t keen on doing a remake.“Right now, Akshay is busy with Khiladi 786 and Boss (remake of the Malayalam hit, Pokkiri Raja). Bhansali is busy with Ram Leela. Once they are both free, they plan to have detailed meetings with Raja,” adds the insider.

Both Akshay and Bhansali remained unavailable for comments.

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