About his much-touted Ramayan, director Rajkumar Santoshi says he has selected Telugu actor Prakash Raj to play Ravan opposite Ajay Devgan's Ram.
"It's a decision we took after much deliberation. Only north Indian actors would be cast as members of King Dasharath's clan. Hence Ajay plays Ram and Riteish Deshmukh has been finalised to play Laxman. All of Ravan's clan will be cast from the south," Santoshi told IANS.
Prakash Raj is a prolific Telugu actor. He was recently offered the chance to play the sandalwood bandit Veerappan in a film that Veerappan's wife wanted to produce. The actor declined the offer.
Ramayan starts shooting in February or March this year.
Apart from translating Valmiki's Adi Kavya on big screen, the director is trying to get Salman Khan's dates for his dream project London Dreams in place.
There's also the comedy that Santoshi is planning to make with Pankaj Kapur and his son Shahid.
"I've met both, and the project is on. It will be an out-and-out slapstick comedy with Pankaj-ji and Shahid playing father and son. I haven't returned to comedy since Andaz Apna Apna. It's time I had myself some laugh," said the director, who collaborated with the actor in the just released Halla Bol.
The film, starring Ajay and Vidya Balan, plummeted at the box office.