Star producer Ekta Kapoor has always longed to make a classic, period love story for television. Her first attempt — the TV show Mahabharat in 2008 — was a disaster. The show was supposed to revolutionise story telling on the tube, but it fell flat on its face and was taken off air within a few months of its launch. Last year, Ekta was supposed to begin working on a show based on the period romance of Bajirao-Mastani. But when director Sanjay Leela Bhansali expressed plans of reviving his film that revolves around the same subject, she apparently shelved that idea.
Now once again, the czarina of Indian TV is set to re-visit her dream as she is planning to produce a lavish show based on the historical love story of Mughal Emperor Akbar and his wife, Jodha Bai. However, she is expected to add some fictional elements to the tale, apart from making a few dramatic additions to the love story. In 2008, director Ashutosh Gowariker epitomised the story on the silver screen in the film, Jodhaa-Akbar, which perhaps inspired Ekta.
Tanushree Dasgupta, creative director, Balaji Telefilms, reveals, “Our plan is to launch the show on a majestic scale as it is an epic love saga, from a different era. The show, based on Jodha-Akbar, will be on the lines of the actual events. We will also incorporate fictional elements into the show.” According to her, fresh faces will be chosen for the lead roles, for which extensive auditions are currently being held across the country. “We are looking for the perfect pair with the combination of raw talent and good looks,” she adds.
When asked why she chose Jodha-Akbar’s story to tell in specific, Tanushree says, “We realised that such larger-than-life and grand love stories are always well-accepted by family audiences. And we’re happy making love stories, no matter what era they are based in.”
While the producers of the show are currently in talks with two top channels, let’s just hope Ekta manages to succeed in her endeavour this time around.