It wouldn’t be wrong to say that biopics have become the flavour of the season in Bollywood. The latest to join the bandwagon is Kangana Ranaut, who has given her nod to essay the role of the warrior queen, Rani Lakshmi Bai, in filmmaker Ketan Mehta’s next.
"Kangana has read about Lakshmi Bai in school. So, when she was approached for the role, she was very excited. She also loved Ketan’s script, and was impressed with the kind of research that has gone into it," says an insider.
The project will be an Indo-British production, for which Kangana will undergo heavy-duty training in horse riding, sword-fighting and other warfare skills for almost a year, before she starts shooting. "Since it’s the first time that a project of such magnitude is being planned on Lakshmi Bai, Kangana wants to do her best," adds the insider.
Kangana Ranaut will play Rani Laxmi Bai in Ketan Mehta's next.
Apparently, for General Hugh Rose’s character (who was given command of the Central Indian Field Force and secured the defeat of the Indian rebels at Jhansi in 1858, and who witnessed Lakshmi Bai’s legendary bravery during the rebellion), the makers are planning to approach Hollywood actor Hugh Grant, since it’s an important character.
"The film is expected to go on the floor mid next year, and will be shot in two languages — Hindi and English — simultaneously," adds the insider.
While Kangana couldn’t be reached for a comment, Ketan confirmed the development, saying, "Yes, Kangana is on board. I always wanted to make The Rising as a trilogy. So, this film will be the second part after Mangal Pandey (2005). I am very excited."
THE REAL DEAL
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Filmmaker Omung Kumar has finalised Aishwarya for the role of Sarabjit Singh’s (an Indian national, who was convicted of terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court, and sentenced to death in 1991) sister, Dalbir Kaur. Randeep Hooda will play Sarabjit in the movie.
Sonam Kapoor: Ad filmmaker Ram Madhvani is making a film with Sonam Kapoor, which is based on Neerja Bhanot’s life, a flight attendant, who was killed while trying to save the lives of passengers on board a flight, which had been hijacked by terrorists in 1986.
Vidya Balan: Reports suggest that Vidya will play the role of late Carnatic singer MS Subbulakshmi in a film. But the movie hasn’t taken off yet due to a few legal tangles. "Everything is ready and they (the makers) just need to get that thing (the legal issues) out of the way, and we can roll," Vidya told HT Café.
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