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Aishwarya to star in Rani of Jhansi?
No, no, her career isn’t likely to land too quickly on the backburner, never mind all the talk that her marriage to Abhishek Bachchan will take place early next year.
That she has been accepted by the Bachchan parivar is more than evident to anyone clued into front pages of the papers or prime-time television.
Okay, so that is not the news.
What is that now yet another producer has announced her plans to do an epic movie on the legendary warrior queen Jhansi ki Rani. And the producer is none other than Ayesha Shroff (yes, yes wife of bhidu Jackie) who not only wants Aishwarya Rai to play the title role but is also scouting for a director from Hollywood. The aim is to make an internationally scaled film.
Now that isn’t going to make director Ketan Mehta whoop with joy exactly. Mehta, the feisty director of Mirch Masala, Maya Memsaab and Mangal Pandey, has been trying to get a project on the Rani of Jhansi off the ground for over two years now.
Considerable research has been done on the project and of course, he wanted Aishwarya to play the fearless Rani.
In addition, Sushmita Sen often resurfaces to state that she will portray Laxmibai, the Rani of Jhansi, never mind if the rest of the show world may also be thinking along the same lines.
Rani Mukherjee is also reported to be keen to play the role. Aishwarya’s market status still places her at the No. 1 position despite the swirling rumours of marriage, traditionally considered a downer for a movie actress’ popularity .
As for the would-be producer of Jhansi ki Rani, Ayesha Shroff who made her debut with Mohnish Behl in Teri Baahon Mein and then quit, has produced the films Grahan, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hai, the still-to-bereleased Sandhya and the calamitious Boom.
Incidentally, the story of the Rani of Jhansi was told by thespian Sohrab Modi in 1952. It featured his wife Mehtab in the title role.
It was a commercial disaster and wiped out the name of Modi's production house, Minerva Movietone, from the movie firmament.
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