Here's a little more on Billoo Barber, the film that is being produced by Shah Rukh Khan and directed by Priyadrashan. Apparently, Priyadrashan did go to Akshay Kumar, one of his favourite actors, with the role. It's only when Akshay refused that SRK stepped into the picture. So it's not that Priyadarshan has changed sides.
Apparently, the director was supposed to make a film for SRK. During the course of their conversation, the subject of Billoo Barber came up and Priyadrashan asked SRK if he would be interested in acting in the film. SRK is believed to have asked for a full narration after which he decided to not only act in the movie but also to produce it. The larger role in the film, however, belongs to Irrfan Khan, who is Billoo Barber.
The role of Irrfan's wife in the film will now be played by Lara Dutta after Tabu had turned it down and Amisha was rejected. Apparently the female role is not very meaty which is why Tabu turned it down in the first place. The other actors who have been signed on for the film are Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav and Asrani. Billoo Barber is a remake of a Malayalam film and its story is based on the friendship between Krishna and Sudama.
2006/11/23 15:28:08 The competition for being the highest paid actor in Bollywood is just beginning to hot up. After Hrithik Roshan signed a Rs 35 crore deal for three films, Akshay Kumar can't be far behind.
It has been learnt that Akshay Kumar has been offered Rs 8.5 crore for a film by Venus, to be directed by Priyadarshan. Akshay, whose box-office record has been consistent in recent times, has all the major production houses eager to sign him.
A close friend of Akshay informs, "Yes it is true that Akshay has been offered Rs 8.5 crore for a film that will be directed by Priyadarshan. Akshay has become a saleable star lately. Venus has a subject where Akshay fits the bill perfectly, so they approached him. However, since he is over-committed right now, he can give dates only for December 2007, which Venus has agreed to. However, he still needs to sign on the dotted line." The big-budget film is based on a bank robbery.
The source adds, "Incidentally, Venus was the production house which gave Akshay Kumar his first hit, Khiladi . Venus and Akshay have always had a healthy personal and professional relationship and it is good on the part of the company to offer Akshay the amount they have."
Will It Be Priyadarshan Or Abbas-Mustan For Akshay?
Actor Akshay Kumar is doing a film for Venus for a whopping Rs 15 crore, which they have agreed to pay him. After Sajid Khan's Heyy Babyy and Priyadarshan's Bhool Bhulaiya, Akshay has become hot property.
Producer Ratan Jain from Venus says that he has no qualms about paying his actor so much money as he says that money is not an issue between him and Akshay, whose market value, he believes is much more than Rs 15 crore. Jain is sure that once he signs Akshay, he will not only get his money back but will also make additional money. Akshay, he believes, is one of the most saleable stars today. The film will incidentally be directed by either Priyadarshan or Abbas-Mustan.
Jain has also launched Sanjay Chhel's Man Gaye Mughal-e-Azam starring Mallika Sherawat, Rahul Bose, Paresh Rawal and Kay Kay Menon. The film is not a period movie but is a comic thriller centring around a theatre group called Mughal-e-Azam. Directors David Dhawan, Sanjay Khanduri and Sachin are also directing a film for Venus. Jain says that they are still working on the subject and casting.
We had told you earlier this week about Akshay Kumar having proceeded on his Caribbean holiday, after completing the shooting of his Priyadarshan directed BHOOL BHULAIYAA (that is the latest spelling!). Here is more about the movie featuring Akshay and Priyadarshan, after a hat trick of box-office winners.
The dubbing of T-Series' BHOOL BHULAIYAA will commence on May 10. As mentioned above, the entire shooting of the film has been wrapped up by Priyadarshan. Based on a story by Madhu Menon, the film has screenplay and dialogue by Neeraj Vora and music by Pritam. The Akshay Kumar, Amisha Patel, Vidya Balan, Shiney Ahuja and Paresh Rawal starrer is scheduled to release on August 24.
2006/11/8 18:14:17 The fastest filmmaker of present times – Priyadarshan is ready with his next film Bhagam Bhag that releases on 22nd December all over. The film has a unique comic pairing of Akshay Kumar and Govinda – the best in the business.
And now Priyadarshan wants to direct Amitabh Bachchan for one of the story ideas he has in mind. But he denies any development on the project and rubbishes the rumours that say that the film is titled Assasin and is a remake of the Hollywood classic The Day of The Jackal.
Says Priyadarshan, “It is true I want Amitji to play a principal role in my film. But nothing is finalized. I still haven’t approached him for the role yet, forget he asking for the script. And my movie is not ‘The Day of The Jackal’ but something different. Just the idea came from there”.
Priyadarshan has earlier directed Amitabh Bachchan in ad films but not in a feature film yet.
Actress Prerna Virender has been lucky with her releases like DHOL and NANHE JAISLERMER since she debuted in BHAGAM BHAG in December last year alongside Govinda and Akshay Kumar. Her movie, which got her great reviews in Bollywood, is DHOL. The Priyadarshan directed DHOL released in September and Prerna could not be happier.
'My song is already playing yet I am very happy about the film,' she said. This girl certainly seems to be Priyadarshan's favorite as she has already worked with the filmmaker in two other films as well. 'I think Priyan Sir is one of the finest directors and I have been lucky to work with him so early in my career.'
Prerna is signed by an eminent director and by Priyadarshan for his next film. She will also start shooting for Sanjay Gupta's JAZBAA in the month of December.v
Priyadarshan turns down the offer for Malamaal Weekly sequel
Priyadarshan is known for his unique style comedy films but the man is completely against sequels. Though sequels have become a trend in Bollywood lately, Priyadarshan does not believe in the idea. He recently turned down the offer to make Malamaal Weekly 2. This was the second time that he denied to make a sequel, the first one being Phir Hera Pheri. He thinks that no one can make a film better than the original and he is completely against tampering the originals.
Priyadarshan will however, be making a film called Kanchivaram in October under the banner of Percept (India). The film will be set in 1942 and will show the struggle of textile workers when communism started. This will be a serious film with content that can be sent to film festivals.
The director however, is currently shooting Bhagam Bhaag starring Govinda, Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta and Paresh Rawal. Besides films, Priyadarshan is also planning to start an English newspaper in South India and he will also be the editor of the publication. The main reason to start a publication is to fulfill the dream of his father who was a librarian.
Actor Salman Khan, star Akshay Kumar and Mamu Sanjay Dutt could be seen together for the first time ever onscreen. Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan have worked in two films in the past - Saajan and Chal Mere Bhai. Salman and Akshay Kumar have also featured in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and Jaan-E-Mann. Sanju and Akki too featured in Amaanat in the past. But the trio hasn't featured in a single film so far.
Reportedly, hotshot director Priyadarshan is contemplating signing the three actors in his new film, to be produced by Moser Baer. "Moser Baer has signed Priyadarshan but we haven't decided on the cast yet," Moser Baer's Harish Dayani tells me, "The project with Priyadarshan will start next year. But we will lock the script in June this year. We have three options, of which one will be finalized. The casting will only follow thereafter."
Meanwhile, Moser Baer has signed lyricist Javed Akhtar and music composer / singer Adnan Sami for an altogether different project, to be directed by Samar Khan. Rahul Bose and Minisha Lamba will head the cast of this film.
The Kapoor girl admits that she’s most comfortable working with Bollywood’s favourite hunk
Kareena Kapoor says that she feels most comfortable while working with Akshay Kumar as she has watched him giving his first shot as a school kid. On the other hand, Akshay has known Kareena right from school!
“I have done about nine movies with Akshay and I have known him since he has done his first film, when he was giving his first shot. I was behind the camera so that’s the relationship I have with Akshay, its an emotional relationship, I am most comfortable with Akshay Kumar as my co-star maybe because he has seen me in my school uniform with two pigtails hanging around, so it’s a relationship which I think you feel really close to,” Kareena said.
According to the actress, Akshay is the most ‘shining’ star that Bollywood has right now.
“As of today he is completely rocking, he’s the shinning star of Bollywood. It feels great because I have been with him through the journey of his career and I feel really happy,” she said.
Working with Akshay Kumar is an absolute pleasure, gushes the actress and given a choice, she would always pick him as her favourite co-actor.
“He is a pivotal part of this film which is a great role for him and I think working with Akshay for me is always a lot of fun and games and I just do not realize when we start shooting and when we finish. Throughout my career I think I have enjoyed working with Akshay Kumar the most and I hope to continue to work with him throughout my career,” Kareena signs off.
Veteran director Priyadarshan's next Bollywood venture faces controversy as the author of the original Malayamam film, on which the new project is based, has said the story was being changed without his permission.
Madhu Muttom, who wrote the story for "Manichithrathazhu", told reporters here Thursday that Priyadarshan had not taken his consent while basing his new project on the award-winning Malayalam film.
"This story of 'Manichithrathazhu' is mine. Isn't it only proper that if this story is going to be used, they should at least speak to me? It is not proper to mutilate my story. I am raising this issue not from a monetary aspect but from the point of a writer who is the creator," Muttom told.
"Manichithrathazhu" was a super-hit in 1992-93 and shot the lead pair of Mohanlal and Shobana to dizzying heights.
"This film has already been remade into Tamil and Kannada and I was not aware of this until the film was released. I have filed a case against this too," said Muttom, adding the Hindi film was titled "Chandralekha" according to news reports.
Reacting to the charge, Priyadarshan said the controversy was needless.
"The new film I am to direct is produced by T-Series, which has purchased the rights from Telegu producer K. Rama Rao, who had purchased the rights of the original Malayalam film from Navodaya Appachen," Priyadarshan told over telephone from Mumbai.
"The production house has got an order from the Kerala High Court that the credit for the story should go to Muttom and that will be done. So, there is no controversy at all," said the ace director.
He said the Hindi version would star Akshay Kumar, Shiny Ahuja, Vidya Balan and Amisha Patel.
"Shooting would begin in Jaipur this week and we are all ready for it," said Priyadarshan.
It’s official. Madhuri is not doing Shaji N Karun’s Suryamukhi (working title), based on the life of the controversial painter Raja Ravi Varma. Karun’s second choice, Vidya Balan, has been signed for the coveted role. The South-based director Karun is presently in Mumbai.
Talking to HiTLIST yesterday, he said, “Vidya’s output will be as good as I had envisaged with Madhuri. Vidya is my choice and I stand by it. She is a hard-core performer and she is going to rock in Suryamukhi.”
Madhuri’s secretary Rakesh Nath (Rikku) told Karun that Madhuri would not be able to begin working on the film before April 2007. “I would have loved to have her, but I could not wait for that long. I want to take this film to Cannes next year.”
Madhuri had a problem since the script has some nudity in it, and Dixit even sent e-mails to Karun in this regard. But he had cleared her apprehensions by saying, “I can use shadows to express nudity, or I’ll directly use the picture that Raja Ravi Varma had painted.”
Also, Madhuri had been told by Karun that she would have to reduce her fee, since Suryamukhi was not a big budget project.
Male casting on
Balan, who will obviously take far lesser money than Madhuri, will play the Maharashtrian woman who modelled as goddesses for Varma. She is likely to be called Ganga in the film.
Suryamukhi will be produced by Bobby Bedi and will start in October. The hero has not yet been finalised. Bedi and Karun wanted Ajay Devgan to play Raja Ravi Varma, but Devgan did not show interest.
“I am in the city to finalise the male lead and put the other things in place, so that I start in time. I have two to three names in mind, and am talking to them. In two or three days, I will select the man who will play the painter,” concludes Karun.
Another ace for Vidya
Balan has been signed up for Chandramukhi opposite Akshay Kumar, a Hindi remake of the South super hit Chandramukhi — to be produced by T-Series, and be directed by Priyadarshan.
T-Series head honcho Bhushan Kumar says, “Priyadarshan suggested Vidya’s name. Comedy is his forte and so we have introduced a few comic situations, but by and large, the script remains the same as the original. As for Akshay, he is my friend and wanted to do Rajnikant’s role. I think he fits the character to the T.”
2006/12/4 16:53:29 It takes a lot of pizzazz to say that Bollywood success is not proportional to the laws of friendship. But Suniel Shetty can say that as he has learnt some lessons about survival in Bollywood.
“Friendships within the industry can get you goodwill but for success, you’ve to look beyond. I’ve done a lot of films which I knew would fail at the box office but didn’t know how to say no. But now, I’m going to be selective,” he says.
Reaping rewards: There is a lot happening in Suniel’s life, which includes GIFA, the Global Indian Film Awards, to be held in Kuala Lumpur in December. It is the brainchild of Suniel’s company, Popcorn Entertainment and will cover films released between October ’05 and October ’06. “It calls for hard work and I’m game for all that it takes,” he says.
Healthy-wealthy: Suniel is set for his TV debut with a health show, based on The Biggest Loser (an American reality show).
He says, “The show encourages people to lose weight without sweating much. I’ll now spend more time in the gym to do justice to the selector’s choice.”
Clash of the titans: Rubbishing talks about problems between him and Akshay Kumar, Suniel says, “Akshay and I joined the industry at the same time — almost 16 years ago. I don’t know where these things come from. We’ve done some wonderful films together and will be together again in Bhagam Bhag.”
Suniel adds that now he will concentrate more “on my home productions.” Besides his co-production, Priyadarshan’s Bhagam Bhag, he will be seen in the sequels of Phir Hera Pheri and Kaante, and Anubhav Sinha’s Cash.
When reading news titled Priyadarshan's movie, you very well get the image that Priyadarshan is going to start his Malayalam movie next month. But the fact is that Priyadarshan is going to start his movie, but this time he is not wielding the microphone, to make the shots. He is writing the story for the film to be directed by Viji Thampy.
Based on the story by Priyadarshan, actor Jagadhish is once again turning to scripting and dialogue writing, through this film which is not yet titled. The film which is expected to start by the first of June will have a number of stars ranging from Jagathy and Innocent to Sreenivasan, all taking care of their respective roles in another slapstick comedy. The film is produced by seven arts, which has created some of the master piece films in Malayalam.
After visiting Mumbai and Delhi, Hollywood actress Ashley Judd was in Jaipur for her AIDS awareness campaign.
Judd is presently in India as the Global youth AIDS ambassador. More than a week back, Judd visited Mumbai’s red light districts along with actress Sushmita Sen to spread AIDS awareness among sex workers.
A few days back Judd visited Jaipur where she was joined by actor Akshay Kumar for her campaign. Akshay, who was already in the city to shoot for Priyadarshan’s movie Bhool Bhulaiya , happily took out time to join Judd in her noble cause.
Ashley and Akshay together launched an emergency contraceptive (EC) programme, which is aimed at spreading the use of emergency contraceptives by providing easy access to such products.
Ashley said to the gathered women and men that more efforts should be made to curb high maternal mortality rate in Rajasthan.
Akshay Kumar directly addressed the women present and told them that they should not hesitate to ask their husbands to use contraceptive devices like condoms
Following Priyanka Chopra’s less-than-impressive turn as the host of Khatron Ke Khiladi 3, there is a tough choice for her replacement when the show’s fourth season gets underway. The makers, it’s said, are oscillating between Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan for the spot. The former, who has successfully hosted the first two seasons of the show, is a strong contender to reappear.
However, Salman Khan, who was a bit hit in his avatar as television host of Bigg Boss and Dus Ka Dum, is also being touted as the next action hero, following the success of Dabangg. His forthcoming films, Bodyguard, Ready and Dabangg 2 are also similar action-packed ventures, and the makers of Khatron Ke Khiladi feel that Salman would suit the show’s format and content.
With not much separating the two heroes, the question of who gets to host the fourth season may well depend on the price factor. For the first two seasons of the show, it was said that Akshay was paid Rs 2.5 crore per episode. Salman, meanwhile, got paid nearly Rs 3.5 crore for Bigg Boss.
Akshay Kumar jumps off an 80 feet clock tower in London
Akshay Kumar loves to perform his own stunts and gets a thrill doing his own stunts. He prefers not to use a body double and do his stunts himself. Recently actor Akshay Kumar did a daring stunt in Bhagam Bhag himself, but the others actors were apprehensive to do the same stunt. Akshay had to jump off an 80 feet clock tower in London. However actress Lara Dutta was almost in tears when she had to join Akshay for the stunt. The rest of the cast performed the same stunt on a special set where the clock was erected at a ten feet height.
Director Priyadarshan says “Akki is very adventurous. When we were shooting in London, he took only a few minutes to climb atop the tower. But Lara was shivering; she just couldn’t take the fact that she had to jump off the tower. In fact Akki would show her the trick and she’d get all the more scared.” They had to jump off an 80 feet high tower but all the necessary protective and safety arrangements were made before the shot was canned. Later Akshay Kumar actually had to coax Lara Dutta and guide her through the entire stunt step by step.
Actors Paresh Rawal, Asrani and Govinda refused to do the dangerous and daring stunt. Another similar set was constructed at Chennai on a height of 10 feet for the other actors to perform the same stunt. The scene includes the entire cast being attacked by bees and wasps at the clock tower, unfortunately there is no other exit and hence the cast is forced to jump off from the clock tower.
2006/11/13 12:45:34 Ace director Priyadarshan, who started his career with Malayalam films, has four mega projects in hand and is likely to tie up with an international film company.
Priyadarshan held talks also with Walt Disney on a possible film collaboration during his recent US visit, but was rather upset with its attitude.
"I was called by them because they found out that I make the best comedy films in Asia. But I realised that there was an attitudinal impediment between us. I just can't digest the way they look down on us," Priyadarshan told IANS in an interview.
On the deal with an international film company, he said: "See I am getting old and I have to secure my future. I am finalising my talks with the foreign film company. Since I have a non-disclosure clause with them, I am unable to divulge any details regarding it at the moment."
The director has his hands full with four mega projects lined up.
His upcoming Bhagam Bhag is a multi-starrer that includes Akshay Kumar, Govinda, Suniel Shetty, Jackie Shroff, Paresh Rawal and Lara Dutta. It is slated for release Dec 22.
"This film is shot in London and it sees the return of actor-turned-politician Govinda after a gap of five years," said the director who was here recently.
Priyadarshan's next is Dhol starring Tusshar Kapoor, Sharman Joshi and Tanushree Dutta. It goes on floor Nov 17 in Pune.
"This is a thriller-comedy where four boys cook up a story to hook up a girl by getting her sympathy. But to their dismay, it turns out be a true story of people who are in hot pursuit of these four boys," he said.
Also in the pipeline is the Hindi version of blockbuster Malayalam film Manichithrathazhu which was recently made into Tamil.
"Then I have a project with Amitabh Bachchan which is about an assassination. It is similar to The Day of The Jackal. Bachchan and I have discussed this film and it is in the scripting stage. Apart from this, there is a film for Shah Rukh Khan's production house."
The director is also making a Tamil film Kanchipuram which is not commercial in nature. "This is a 90-minute film on the weavers of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu and is set in the period between 1942 and 1957. I have to finish it before August 2007. The film stars actor Prakash Raj apart from other Tamil theatre actors," Priyadarshan added.
Bollywood actor Akshaye Khanna is shooting in Bangkok for Neeraj Vora's "Shortcut" and says he is missing home and desperately looking for a break.
"I need a quick break to visit Mumbai. I'm homesick. If I get a break of two-three days, I'll go back. So far we get only one day off every 10 days. That isn't enough to dash in and dash out," Akshay told IANS on phone.
Basking in the blockbuster opening of his new film "Race", Akshaye is all praise for Vohra.
"He wrote all my films for Priyadarshan. So I know Neeraj very well. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself."
Akshaye plays a director, while Arshad Warsi plays a 'bad' actor in the movie, which is set in the film industry.
Amrita Rao is Akshaye's leading lady in the movie. "She's a very sweet, decent girl. Though raw, she's a good actress. She's now coming into her own.
"I really enjoy working with my co-actors, male or female. I like being with them, bouncing off ideas."
He reluctantly talks about the film, saying: "The film has a lot of theatre actors. It's a character-based energetic film. I like doing energetic films.
"In 'Race', I worked on investing gusto to my character. That's why I enjoy working with Abbas-Mustan. They give me the freedom to make the best use of my space as an actor. They've tremendous trust in me. Somehow they like nine out of my 10 suggestions. They allow me to improvise quite a lot."
What about the rapport with his co-stars?
"'Race' isn't the first multi-starrer I've done. It's never easy to find proper space for all the actors in a cluttered cast. It takes people like Abbas-Mustan to come up with a script that justifies everyone's presence."
Akshaye was more than happy to be reunited with Saif Ali Khan.
"Anil, of course, is very close to me. Saif and I had a fantastic time during 'Dil Chahta Hai'. And let's not forget Saif and I also spent a lot of time together during J.P. Dutta's 'LOC'.
"In 'Dil Chahta Hai', we were buddies. In 'Race', we're brothers but battling constantly. But I had never worked with all the three girls - Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy. They're all so wonderful. Anaita Adjania has really dressed us up well."
Akshaye's next release would be a Priyadarshan comedy "Mere Baap Pehle Aap".
"I'm in it with Paresh Rawal. It's one of those films that will put a smile on everyone's face. And my co-star Genelia D'Souza is the absolutely correct choice."
'I am not 40 yet… I can still romance my heroines'
Akshay Kumar turns 39 today. He will be at home, except for a visit to aunt-in-law Simple Kapadia.
Akshay Kumar's birthday today will be special. He will be celebrating it in Mumbai with his family, which includes wife Twinkle, son Aarav and his mother and sister.
On a more serious note, his mother-in-law Dimple Kapadia's sister Simple has been seriously ill. All through, Akshay has been very supportive of Twinkle's family. Though he refuses to comment on Simple's condition, according to a source, the actor will be meeting Simple on his birthday.
The actor, who is currently busy shooting for Priyadarshan's next Bhaagam Bhaag, flew down from Chennai, to be with his family and friends. "I am a very private person and I usually don't like celebrating my birthday. I prefer quiet birthdays," he says.
Incidentally, every year Akshay makes it a point to spend the entire day with his family on their birthday. "They are special to me; and I am working hard for them. But at the same time I make sure that my work does not hamper my family life. My son needs attention and I know Tina is doing her best, but that doesn't spare me from my fatherly duties. Going back home to them gives me a big high and I love my role as a father," he says.
At 39, Akshay does not look his age. "I am not 40 yet… so I need not worry. I can still romance my heroines," he jokes. In the recent past, the actor has given consecutive hits and has got extremely choosy about the assignments he takes up. Now, Akshay is looking forward to Sajid Nadiadwala's Jaan-E-Maan. After Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Salman Khan and he will be seen in Shirish Kunder's directorial debut and the audio CDs will hit the stands today, as a birthday gift to Akshay from Sajid Nadiadwala.
Incidentally, Sajid launched his film Mujhse Shaadi Karogi three years ago on the actor's birthday too.
ollywood star Akshay Kumar took to his turban, kirpan (dagger) and beard in Singh Is King with unconditional gusto, but director Anees Bazmi couldn't convince seasoned actor Om Puri, who plays a sardar in the movie, to sport beard.
"That's true," admits Om.
"But I had a very valid reason for saying no to the beard. My face is allergic to beards. I get rashes from facial hair. So I played the sardar in Singh Is King with all the other requirements except the beard," Om Puri, who plays Akshay's friend in the movie, told IANS.
However, for Jagmohan Mundhra's Shoot On Sight, Om had no choice but to sport a beard.
"It's the role of a fundamentalist maulvi, a very powerful part with dramatic speeches, and I couldn't play a maulvi without a beard. But my face went through hell," he said.
Recently Om puri was seen opposite Jaya Bachchan in the film Love Songs Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. He also stars in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Dilli 6
"I had a small but powerful role in Rakeysh's Rang De Basanti. Now I've far more space in Dilli 6. I've shot for nearly 40 days. I play the girl's (Sonam Kapoor's) father.
"Incidentally, I've also received an offer from the Rang De Basanti writer Rensel D'Silva for his film with Karan Johar. It is a powerful piece of work and I'm definitely doing it."
Work-wise 2008-09 is one of Om's best phases ever.
"There are a wide variety of roles, yes. My next release would be Priyadarshan's Mere Baap Pehle Aap. It's a smile-a-minute comedy. I play a middle-aged man desperate to get married. My friend Paresh Rawal keeps messing up my prospects every time he goes to negotiate for my marriage."
Om also features in Priyadarshan's next film with Bollywood's reigning star Shah Rukh Khan.
"Don't ask me what my role is because I don't know. Priyan has simply blocked my dates for the film with Shah Rukh. I'm yet to hear my role. That's the kind of equation I share with Priyan," said the actor who is still remembered for his powerful performances in Ardh Satya, Bhumika and Aakrosh.