Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mani Ratnam seeks bulk call sheets!

Mani Ratnam's next project is in the casting phase with the director enrolling his cast members after meticulous research. The Vikram - Aishwarya Rai starrer is likely to go on floors by the end of the year. As per latest news sources, Priya Mani has been approached for dates by Mani Ratnam's office from September 2008 – March 2009 for which the actor has supposedly nodded consent.
Priya Mani

Priya Mani's Ninaithaale Inikkum is on the verge of completion where she is cast alongside Prithviraj. She has also reportedly signed on the dotted line for the Bharath starrer Arumugham directed by Suresh Krishna.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ranbir in Ravana?

Mani Ratnam, one of the most talented directors of India, has roped in Bollywood heart-throb Ranbir Kapoor for his next directorial venture, tentatively titled Ravana, a modern day adaptation of the epic, some sources said.
The movie, a trilingual to be simultaneously made in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, will have star couple Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwaya Rai in the lead in Hindi as Rama and Sita; comedy hero Govinda will play the role of Hanuman.

Incidentally, Vikram, who will play Ravana in the Hindi version, will be playing Ram in the Tamil and Telugu versions. Aishwarya will be the heroine in all three languages.
Mani Ratnam has been working on this three language film script since he wrapped up Guru in 2007. According to reports, Mani Ratnam was impressed by Ranbir's performance in Saawariya, in which the actor has done a tremendous job, even if the movie was not a big hit. However, it is not revealed what kind of character Mani Ratnam will cast Ranbir in.
The film, to be made under Ratnam's banner Madras Talkies, will be produced by Mani Ratnam's sister Sharda. It will go on floors from September; P.C. Sreeram, Mani Ratnam’s friend and partner, and Mani Ratnam’s discovery A.R. Rahman will also be on the board of this historic mega project.


Abbas Tyrewala: Hottest director of 2008?

“Is it really a big hit in the UK?” director Abbas Tyrewala asked me when I bumped into him and his wife at Delhi airport earlier this week and congratulated him on the success of his film ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’. Abbas was blissfully unaware that his debut movie, a teen romcom starring the new kid on the block Imran Khan, is indeed one of the biggest blockbusters of 2008.
A key factor in the film’s success is A R Rahman’s hit score which is the current rage in India. The single ‘Pappu can’t dance’ has become a dance floor anthem and another single ‘Kabhi Aditi’ is the most popular mobile phone ringtone at the moment.
Was the popular ‘Pappu’ number a take on Madonna’s ‘Pappa Don’t Preach’? Abbas laughs: “You know you are the first person to make this connection. But Pappu is someone who has got it all without trying.” What’s next for the talented director who has a fondness for wearing red trainers? “My next film is an adult comedy. It is too early to say anything else.”


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vairamuthu’s remarks about Hindi!

Lyricist Vairamuthu is a busy man these days. He has his hands full with a number of projects including some prestigious projects like Robot, Marma Yogi, Soundarya Rajinikanths’ Sultan – The Warrior and Mani Ratnam’s yet-to-titled film. In fact Vairamuthu has already penned two songs for Robot and all the seven songs for Mani’s film.

Amazingly, he had completed all those seven songs in five days time! The buzz in the industry is that Vairmuthu’s lyrics for Mani Ratnam’s film are far too superior to Hindi lyricist Gulzar’s lyrics. Reacting to this comment, Vairamuthu said that though Gulzar is a great poet, Tamil is a finer language when compared to Hindi.


Trisha denies singing for Rahman!

A news agency had reported that Trisha sang under the baton of A.R Rahman.
When contacted in Hyderabad, where she is shooting with Nagarjuna for the Telugu film King, the actress told "I can’t figure out from where these rumours of me singing for Rahman started? It is a figment of somebody's imagination running wild.I have not spoken to anyone about this."
She adds that a unit member of her film Chennayil Oru Mazhaikalam directed by Gautam Menon playfully suggested that she sing a song in the film which has music by A.R Rahman.
Added Trisha: "Rahman is my all time favourite music director and my iPod has almost all his tunes. But me singing for him is a little too far fetched."


The truth behind Ghajini's mysterious title

Aamir Khan's upcoming next, unusually titled, Ghajini has had left everyone wondering. Everyone has been thinking about what the heck is the meaning of it. Yes it was the name of the original Tamil version of the film directed by A.R.Murugadoss who is also directing the Hindi version. But no one understood what it meant. A large section of the media and Aamir's fans alike were also thinking Ghajini is Aamir Khan's character's name in the film. But is it?

According to our unit sources, "Ghajini is not the name of Aamir Khan's character in the mystery thriller. It is actually the name of the villain whom Aamir's character is trying to find throughout the film as he is the one who has murdered his girlfriend (Asin) and left him severely injured leading him to an extremely disturbed state of mind. The character of Ghajini is played in the film by actor Pradeep Singh Rawat who also played the same role in the original. He had earlier acted as the hot blooded Sardar in Aamir Khan Productions' Lagaan (2001). In fact the villain has a double role in the film. So now there is Ghajini 2 also in Ghajini one can say!"


Trisha in Marmayogi?

It's not official, but the buzz is that Trisha is going to play heroine to Kamal Hassan in his ambitious big budget extravaganza Marmayogi.
Sources close to the development say that Raj Kamal Films and Pyramid Saimira, the producers of the film will make the official announcement in a few days.
Remember last week Kamal had lashed out at the media for getting hyper about Marmayogi reporting. Kamal in his statement had said- "I am well aware that the respected members of the fourth estate are keen on being the first with the "scoop". We request those who indulge in such inaccurate reporting to contact our respective publicity departments, who will furnish you with accurate information on a need-to-know basis".
Anyway those close to Trisha say that she is very happy these days, because it was always her dream to do a film with her all time favourite actor. They say that the busy actress has agreed to dole out bulk dates for Marmayogi, the shooting will start by mid September and complete in a single schedule.
Actually Trisha had missed out on Dasavatharam, as she could not accommodate her dates for the film. It is a major boost for her to be paired with the living legend of Tamil cinema.


GHAJINI: Two songs still to be picturised!

One film, about which we can predict today itself that it is going to take a flying start, whenever it releases, is Aamir Khan's much awaited action flick, GHAJINI.

However contrary to the reports about GHAJINI having been completed, the truth is that there are two songs that still need to be picturised. And that is in addition to the one day shooting involving Aamir Khan, about which we had told you earlier this month.
The obvious question that comes to mind is whether Aamir will be able to finish the whole work in one day? Well, the answer is a partial no. The reason being that Aamir will not be a part of the two above mentioned songs that is, he will not feature in them at all!

While on GHAJINI, the film is all set to release a day after Christmas, which is 26th December, as of now.



Looks like the YUVRAAJ makers too have become a firm believer in numerology! The latest buzz is that the Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Zayed Khan and Katrina Kaif starrer has now been renamed as YUVVRAAJ!

Meanwhile there is delayed news that the leading man Salman Khan suddenly took ill last Wednesday, complaining of an upset stomach and was reportedly vomiting too. He was to participate in the shooting of the Subhash Ghai directed YUVVRAAJ but could not due to his health problems.

While still on YUVVRAAJ, as we have already told you, T-Series will release the music of the Mukta Arts' venture on 1st October. A.R. Rahaman has set the music for the songs penned by Gulzar. Ghai is trying to ready the film for release on 21st November.


“Marma Yogi”- Mysterious saint

After the multi-role mega Tamil film `Dasavatharam’, actor Kamal Hassan is preparing himself for his next big budget multi-lingual venture, `Marmayogi’ (mysterious saint).
Kamal Hassan said Raaj Kamal Films International had signed an agreement with Pyramid Saimira Group for the venture. The date and venue of the launch of “Marmayogi”", a multi-million dollar magnus opus will be announced soon.
According to the joint press note issued by the actor and Pyramid Saimira on Tuesday evening, Marmayogi will be a multilingual film in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi and probably in English with a budget of multi-million rupees.
Kamal Hassan has already donned the role of director in his critically acclaimed “Hey Ram,” a plot intertwining pre and post-Independence India, “Virumaandi” and “Mumbai Express.”
Based on Marie Corelli’s 1886 novel ‘Vendetta: The Story of One Forgotten’, Marmayogi is the most high-priced Indian movie to date that would cost around Rs 1.25 billion
Pyramid Saimira says, “Marmayogi is a high cost, high value project of our time. A formal agreement has been signed between the parties and a detailed planning for the project is going on at frantic phase. The project will be a land-mark project in the technical as well as cinematic qualities and would try to project Indian cinema internationally in the best possible manner.”


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Is Mani’s movie retelling Ramayana?

After directing 'Dalpathy' based on the relationship between Karna, Duryodhana and Arjun, director Maniratnam is said to be eyeing the tale of Ramayana in his next bilingual.

Said to be a simple story of Ram, Sita and Ravana, the movie has real life couple Abishek and Aishwarya in the lead in Hindi, with Vikram playing the role in Ravana. In Tamil, Viram will play Ram and Prithviraj, Ravan.

Music for the movie is, expectedly, by AR Rahman and the camera is handled by Manikandan.

The movie, yet to be titled, is expected to begin next month, and actor Karthik is said to be playing an important role in the movie.


Sakkarakatti's technical brilliance

Kala Prabhu, son of noted film producer Kalaipuli S. Dhanu is coming up with his first directorial venture in the form of 'Sakkarakatti'. The film introduces Shantanoo, son of veteran director – actor K. Bhagayaraj as hero.

An interesting aspect of this film is that the technical part has been done with tremendous care to live up to the musical brilliance of A. R. Rahman. The film has the creative energy of two cinematographers in the form of Raja and Andrew. Andrew worked as the cinematographer but unfortunately had to leave because of a prior commitment with a Hindi film. This brought cinematographer Raja into the picture. Reports suggest that the director is happy with the efforts of Raja.

However, Kala Prabhu has a very high opinion of Andrew. 'He will fill the void created by the untimely demise of Jeeva' said Kala Prabhu. A comparison with Jeeva when it comes to cinematography is considered a very great achievement.

Jackie who worked as the art director of 'Paruthiveeran' and 'Poi' has worked for 'Sakkarakatti' as well. He is known to be a creative person who has the ability to sketch out stunning designs as soon as the 'feel' of the scene is described by the director. Truly a lovely talent.

'Sakkarakatti' is expected to be loaded with Computer Generated Imagery and all technical facets have come out very well. The film releases in September.


It happens only with Aamir Khan!

Aamir Khan must be the only film personality of recent times whose every single release whether as an actor, director, producer or all of the three combined brings along clashes of some kind from the Bollywood industry people. It is being observed right from the release of his Dil (1990) which clashed with the action thriller Ghayal then followed by Lagaan (2001) which had a mighty opposition in the partition saga Gadar, Ek Prem Katha continued with Taare Zameen Par (2007) along with the comic caper Welcome and finally Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na with Love Story 2050.

Firoz Nadiadwala producer of Welcome had sent feelers to Aamir to postpone the release of his directorial debut Taare Zameen Par so that it does not clash with his multi-starrer Welcome. But Aamir chose to ignore it. Then when just recently his produced Jaane Tu was nearing release, Love Story 2050 maker Harry Baweja went on to meet Aamir to request the postponing of his Jaane Tu so that his son, Aamir did not budge and went ahead to clash it with Love Story 2050. The result was there for everyone to see. While Jaane Tu captured the box office and audience’s hearts, Love Story 2050 was declared the biggest dud of 2008. Now its déjà vu again for Aamir as industry sources confirmed to us about Subhash Ghai sending feelers to Aamir to re arrange the release date of his Ghajini.

A source tells us, “Subhash Ghai’s Yuvraj starring Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Zayed Khan and Katrina Kaif was originally planned to release in the Diwali week, on October 24th. But then as its shooting got postponed thanks to Salman Khan and his 10 Ka Dum shooting, the release was pushed ahead further. Ghai then planned for a release around the 2009 Republic Day. But just a few days back Salman allotted his dates to Ghai to shoot his remaining portions in a few weeks time now. Because of this it became possible for him to wrap the project just in time for a year end release. So keeping 26th December as the release date, he had started his planning only to realize, Aamir’s Ghajini was slated for a release on 26th December. Yuvraj is Ghai’s most ambitious film to date and after a huge flop like Kisna his reputation is definitely at stake. He doesn’t want to take any chances with his film this time as last time Madhur Bhandarkar’s Page 3 released with his Kisna had completely overshadowed Kisna in all departments including the box office run. Now therefore he has started sending feelers to Aamir to either post pone or pre pone his Ghajini. Aamir it is learnt has still not given his reply on this matter yet and is very likely that he is not going to budge this time around too!”

However, sources close to Ghai have confirmed to us that if Aamir doesn’t go in for a shift in his Ghajini date then Yuvraj may get preponed for a November 21st release date.


T-series to release Yuvraaj music on October 1

Super Cassettes Industries Ltd. (T-Series) will release the music of Subhash Ghai Film Yuvraaj on October 1.

"It is a pleasure for us to make the announcement of the release date of the music," said a T Series spokesperson. "We are proud of our association with Showman Subhash Ghai for all Mukta Arts ventures. Since October 1 is an auspicious day, we decided to go in for the release on that day."

Yuvraaj is produced and directed by Subhash Ghai, starring Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Mithun Chakraborty, Katrina Kaif, Zayed Khan and Jawed Sheikh. A R Rahman has teamed with Gulzar Saab for the Music of the film. The film is Subhash Ghai's next much-awaited musical after the stupendous success of Taal in 1999.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Can Narahashi be a cue for Mohanlal?

That Mohanlal will be doing a Malayalam and Japanese bilingual film with Jackie Chan has been in the news for a while. Now, the pre-production activities of the movie have picked up speed and Mohanlal will be leaving for Japan soon to meet with Jackie Chan. The movie, titled Nair San, is based on the life of Madhavan Nair who was behind many
rebel movements in Japan in support of the Indian freedom struggle. He used to carry out guerrilla attacks on the British.

The movie will be directed by Albert and A.R. Rahman has tentatively agreed to compose the music for the film. Other details are being worked out. Meanwhile, Mohanlal recently said that the movie will be launched soon. He has given bulk dates of around 150 days for the movie, among the largest that he has allotted for any movie in his career. When asked whether Jackie Chan was in the movie just to add to its star value, Mohanlal said that Jackie Chan played a very key character in the movie and that he was also well known in Japan and around the world only helped matters. He also added that speaking Japanese is a challenging task for anyone. When it comes from a man who has won two national awards, a president’s special recognition and a Padmashree, we know it will be really tough. Maybe he could take a cue or two from Shinghen Narahashi.


Trisha to sing for A.R. Rahman

Petite beauty Trisha is ruling the roost in Tollywood and Kollywood simultaneously with a number of projects lined up to keep her busy. Yet another facet of Trisha, other than acting, is to be brought to the fore with the actress ready to test her vocal skills.Trisha, in a recent interview, has disclosed that she would lend her voice soon for a song set to tune by
ace music director A.R. Rahman. The film is Abhiyum Naanum, wherein she plays the lead role too. The actress states that she is a natural singer but has always been shy to exhibit her talent. Trisha is naturally thrilled to debut as singer under the direction of award-winning music director A.R. Rahman.


Kuselan lands Robot in trouble

Problems seem to surmount for Kuselan and all those even remotely associated with the film. Kuselan was produced by Kavithalaya and Seven Arts and was distributed by Pyramid Saimira. Owing to the film’s poor response, the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association has been demanding compensation for the losses incurred by them. The theatre
owners also threatened that they would not screen any of the films produced by Kavithalaya and Seven Arts. Sensing trouble over this issue Kavithalaya sold the distribution rights of the two films that it has been producing – Krishna Leelai with Jeevan and Thiruvannamalai with Arjun in the lead – to Ayngaran International. This has redirected the ire of the theatre owners and distributors on Ayngaran International. The Theatre Owners are now contemplating to include Ayngaran International in the ban. If this happens, many films including Rajini’s magnum opus Robot would be in deep trouble, as Ayngaran International is producing the film.


Vikram to kidnap Aishwarya Rai

Very recently, Vikram, in an interview to Behindwoods disclosed about his upcoming movie with Mani Ratnam and how thrilled he was about the project. Now news from Kollywood is that the movie might in fact be a modern day adaptation of Ramayana.

And it is learnt that Vikram might be playing the modern day Ravana.

Mani had, in the past, adapted Mahabharatha in Thalapathy. Other directors have also adapted Ramayana earlier. For instance, Vishal's hit debut movie Chellamae, with Bharath and Reema Sen, being one of them.

Aishwarya Rai is supposed to play Seetha. Prithiviraj and Priyamani are also said to play important roles in this multi-starrer.

So can movie buffs get to see Vikram kidnap Aishwarya Rai?

Music will be by A.R. Rahman. Camera is said to be handled by Manikandan


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vikram to play Rama and Ravana

Director Mani Ratnam seems to be fascinated with ancient Indian epic stories. Mani Ratnam's only film with Rajinikanth 'Thalapathi' was based on the Duriyodhana – Karna episode in Mahabharatha. The character of Shakuntala was very evident in the female lead of 'Roja' and now Mani Ratnam seems to be inspired with Ramanyana for his next project that'll have two versions – Hindi and Tamil.

For the Hindi version the characters based on Rama and Seetha will be played by real life couple Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. Vikram would play the character based on Ravana.

However, for the Tamil version Vikram would replace Abhishek Bachchan and would pair up with Aishwarya Rai. Prithiviraj would play the baddie in this version.

Plying two different characters at one go would be something of a 'terrific exercise' in acting and would probably do a world of good for Vikram who is already a National Award winning actor.

'I am thrilled to be part of this film and to work with Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. I know them very well and we are good friends' said Vikram. Incidentally Vikram was introduced to filmdom by Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited in 1990.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Aamir Khan set to do a ‘dare bare’ act for Ghajini

Salman Khan has mastered it, Shah Rukh Khan too left us all in awe and now the third czar of Bollywood, Mr Perfectionist Aamir Khan is gearing up to reveal his secret as he gets set to bare and expose those much talked about six packed abs in his upcoming flick Ghajini.

After months of sweating out and running down the treadmill, Aamir is said to be doing a SRK for his Ghajini, a remake of the Tamil super hit.

And it’s not just the dare bare act that the actor is looking forward to. According to Spicezee sources the actor is said to be playing his favourite role again - of a ghost director - and is giving his expert opinions on various aspects of the film. It’s even learned that the actor will be seen performing some jaw drooping stunts.

Hmm… looks like Aamir is not just changing his looks but is going for an entire personality overhaul.


‘Talent is not age-dependent’

Living in London, did you get to estimate how much of a rage Kabhi Kabhi Aditi from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na would turn out to be?
Although I’m based in London, I travel a lot to India and have many contacts there. And in today’s time of Internet boom, topographical difference can hardly be a dampener. Besides, there are many satellite Asian channels, which play Bollywood music. And Aditi is not the only song that I had sung in the film, there’s also Kahin to. Earlier too, I had sung a number, Ishq Ada Hai in the film, Ada. So, it’s not that I’m clueless about how my songs are doing. I also made it a point to catch the flick.

What was the response to your first playback, Ishq Ada Hai?
Ishq Ada Hai was recorded seven years back as AR was looking for a singer who could sing in a
totally different style. In addition, AR essentially wanted an acoustic and organic feel to the song. He asked me to play some guitar and I started experimenting with what became the intro. He wanted an intense effect to the voice and suggested that style. I was glad that song was chosen for the promo of the film and found its way to the top five in many charts. I’m pleased that both this song and Kabhi Kabhi Aditi were the first songs on each of the respective albums.

Was a career in music a natural choice, since your mother carved a niché for herself in the world of classical music?
My mother was a ghazal singer but she would regularly perform lighter music. She successfully recorded some albums in UK, one of which featured Ustad Ghulam Mustafa’s compositions. As far as I’m concerned, I broadened my outlook in music having adapted to many genres in Western, Asian and World music. Thankfully, I’ve also gained a lot of experience in studio work as well as by performing live with many musicians — playing Jazz gigs to Arabic music. Having recognized my ethnicity, I also listened to many Indian artistes whilst growing up.

You had worked with Rahman on the Bombay Dreams project and had been part of the troupe for a while as a guitarist, before this big break. How did the two of you come together?
I met AR at a concert in UK, seven years ago. The initial conversation was completely about my mother, Farida Ali’s connection with Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, since he had worked on her ghazal album in UK and also about my love for Jazz music.

You started off as a guitarist and then emerged as a singer...
From the beginning, AR knew I was also a singer. It just took time for tracks like Ishq Ada Hai to surface. India is looking for new sounds and styles — now is a good time to be in Bollywood.

When you chatted Rahman up, were you aware of his iconic status?
At that point of time, I did not know too much about AR’s projects, other than the fact that he had given music for Bombay, Rangeela and Taal.

You are 42 and yet sound like a 20-something in Aditi. Has age got nothing to do with how one sounds?
Talent is not age-dependent. I do naturally have a young voice, since I do look after my voice and myself.

Having given a smash hit, would you now like to pursue Bollywood seriously?
Since I am a singer, I feel that I would like to pursue any projects, which will highlight my abilities. Bollywood is an important part in the spectrum of entertainment. Besides this, I hope to further showcase myself as a guitarist and composer.

What’s keeping you busy at the moment?
Right now, I am working on my own album which will be produced by AR Rahman’s own music label. I am the first one to be signed on by him. I want India to discover not just Rashid Ali’s voice but also what his own music and guitar playing is about. There’s no denying one thing — Rashid Ali is here to stay.


Why Aamir needs his hair back!

Actor Aamir Khan, who has already set off a fashion trend with his almost bald-cum-scar GHAJINI look (as we had told you), is waiting for his hair to grow back. No, its not wife Kiran who has been pestering him to get back his old hairstyle, the reasons are entirely professional.

As per the actor perfectionist himself, he still has a day's shooting left for his upcoming flick, GHAJINI, which requires him to sport his old hairstyle. And those who know Aamir well enough also know that he will not compromise and sport a wig to save time. That is precisely the reason why Aamir is waiting for his hair to grow and so is the entire cast and crew of GHAJINI!

While on GHAJINI, the film may well release around Christmas (December 26), as we had hinted a week back.


Marmayogi, nothing like Marudanayakam

SPECULATIONS about a Kamal starrer never cease. The latest was about Ocher Studios and Warner Bros tieing up to produce his latest venture, 'Marmayogi' But these stories are, well, just stories. Clarifying that it will be Pyramid Saimira producing it, along with Rajkamal Films is KS Srinivasan, director and CEO of Pyramid Samira. The deal, sources say, was inked for Rs 125 crore.

“The movie’s formal launch will be in Mumbai on September 14. We’re planning the launch in Mumbai as the movie, which will be shot in Hindi, English and Tamil, is meant for a pan-India audience,” he explains, adding that the deal was inked with Rajkamal over three months ago. After Dasavathaaram, in which he played 10 roles, Kamal will do only one role in this movie, and will sport a new different look.

The hunt for a heroine is on and the names of leading heroines in Bollywood are in discussion. Hemamalini has been roped in to do an important role in the movie, and sources say it has strong negative overtones. Among the names mentioned for contenders as heroines includes Padmapriya, Kajol and Shriya.

“As for the techinicians, most of them, including the DoP and editors, will be from Hollywood,” he clarified.

'Marudanayakam' has nothing to do with 'Marmayogi,' Srinivasan clarifies. “Marudanayakam,' as everybody knows, was a story set during the freedom struggle. This movie, however, is set in an era prior to British imperialism. There’s no way they can be connected. We’re not usig any scenes from that movie in this. Kamal will sport a very different look in this movie.”


Kamal Haasan's Marmayogi gets the green light

Dispelling all the speculations that are going around, Pyramid Saimira and Kamal Haasan have come out with their statements that Kamal's next venture Marmayogi will jointly be produced by M/s Pyramid Saimira International Ltd and M/s Rajkamal International Ltd.

According to Pyramid Saimira group, Marmayogi will be a trilingual, to be made in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. The group also has plans to produce the film in English as well.

Marmayogi based on Kamal Haasan's story will be directed by the actor himself. He will also play the lead role in the film.

As the film is to be made in "mega-size, the decisions of lead artists, technicians and other key people will be taken jointly with utmost care and conisderation," a Pyramid Saimira release said.

A formal agreement has been signed between the parties and a detailed planning for the project is going on at frantic phase. "The project will be a landmark one in technical as well as cinematic qulaities and will try to project Indian cinema internationally in the best possible manner," the release said.

"This is a high-cost, high value project and we would not like to specify the exact cost of the project at this point," the group added.

According to Kamal Haasan, "we will launch the multi-lingual, mutli-dollar magnum opus very soon."


Monday, August 18, 2008

Vikram opens up on his anti-hero role for Mani

Vikram, in spite of his busy schedule, spoke to a behindwoods correspondent about his forthcoming project with Mani Ratnam. The actor is naturally thrilled at the prospect of working with one of the ace directors in the industry. Vikram said, "This is my first film with Mani Ratnam and I was thrilled to get an offer from him." Vikram also confirmed the news that had been doing rounds for quite some time now that he will be donning an anti hero role in the film. Vikram added, "I am looking forward to start working in this film as the director is known to bring out the best from actors." Well, that spells out Vikram's commitment to acting.

Speaking about his Kanthaswamy, Vikram said that the film will have some exotic locales that would be a feast for the eyes. "The songs and stunt sequences have come out exceedingly well," the star disclosed.


Kathir - A R Rahman back again

Director Kathir is all to direct a film that will be produced by Ayngaran International. Vinay has been signed up to play the lead role. A.R. Rahman scores the music.

Friday, August 15, 2008

'Yuvraaj' on 21st November

The Christmas week only got more exciting with GHAJINI and ALLADIN getting confirmed for 25th December release. Both, Studio 18 [GHAJINI] and Eros [ALLADIN] have confirmed the dates to this writer. Now, YUVRAAJ is also confirmed.

Initially slated for release on 24th October, Subhash Ghai's big-budget multi-starrer is now confirmed for 21st November. "We've locked this date for YUVRAAJ," Sunil Lulla of Eros confirmed to this writer. Meanwhile, Nagesh Kukunoor's AASHAYEIN is also arriving on this date [21st Nov.].

Himesh Reshammiya's second release KARZZZZ, which was to arrive on 26th December, is now back to October: 17th October, to be precise. KARZZZZ will compete with FASHION and EMI on this date.

Meanwhile, Salman and Shah Rukh will clash on 10th October. Before you jump to conclusions, its Salman's HELLO and the Vinay Pathak starrer called SRK.

CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA is still uncertain about the release date. "We will take a decision in a week or two," producer Mukesh Talreja tells me.


Pyramid Saimira still in India’s costliest film

The Pyramid Saimira Group has refuted reports that it is backing out of actor-director Kamal Haasan’s multi-lingual film “Marmayogi”, which at a budget of Rs.1.25 billion is the costliest Indian film to date. There were media reports that Kamal Haasan had moved out of the agreement with Pyramid Saimira and had collaborated with Soundarya Rajnikant, daughter of Tamil superstar Rajnikant.

“It is not true. A lot of pre-production work has already gone into the making of ‘Marmayogi’. The film is set to be launched in September. After that we have a non-stop shooting schedule,” said H.S. Srinivasan, director of production at Pyramid Saimira Group.

Srinivasan said they are currently scouting locations to shoot the film.

The film is based on Marie Corelli’s 1886 novel “Vendetta: The Story of One Forgotten”.

“A.R. Rehman has already started work on the music. It will be the first time that Rahman will be working in a Kamal Haasan film and Hema Malini has been selected to play an important role in the film. The rest of the star cast has to be finalised.”

Srinivasan said Kamal Haasan would himself select the artistes.

“We hope the selection of heroines, other artistes and technicians would be completed before the end of the month. We would be certainly having a grand launch of the film in September. Though we haven’t yet selected the venue of the launch, it may well be Mumbai considering that the film will be made in various languages including Hindi,” said Srinivasan.


Taxi Taxi reshoot

A R Rahman's hit number 'Sakkarakatti' has been reshoot now.

The song has been declared a big hit and is catching the imagination of youth across the State. V Creations, the producers of the film decided to re-shoot the song Taxi Taxi…

It has been re-framed rapper Blaaze and was shot starring Shantanoo and five French models at Perambur Binny Mills. Kalaa Prabhu, son of producer Kalaipuli S Thanu, is directing the film.

'Sakkarakatti' audio, released by Sony BMG has made it big and is sold in a quick pace.

The re-shot version of 'Taxi Taxi'… will hit music channels by the end of this month.


It's Ghajini versus Alladin

The release date of Ghajini has been shifted yet again. Initially slated for October 2, the Aamir Khan starrer was shifted to November 28, a fortnight ago. But the release has been shifted yet again and this time, the date seems to be finalised, December 25, on Christmas Day.

Last year, Aamir's directorial debut Taare Zameen Par was released within the Christmas week (December 21) and now, Ghajini is set to follow suit.

Meanwhile, a screening of Ghajini was held a few days ago and those who watched the film couldn't control their excitement while discussing the movie with this writer.

Meanwhile, Sujoy Ghosh's Alladin has also been confirmed for the Christmas week. Accompanying it will be Aditya Chopra's SRK-starrer Rab Ne Bana Di JOdi arriving on December 12. The final month of 2008 will be one month to look forward to.


Aamir Khan's Ghajini now slated to release in December

The release of Aamir Khan starrer Ghajini has been further postponed to 2008 year end. The film is now slated to release worldwide on 26 December.

The film was first scheduled to release on 2 October during Eid, which was then postponed to 28 November.

Sources inform that the film is in process of completion and it may take longer than what was estimated earlier, hence the release date has been postponed.

The film is produced by Madhu Mantena. While Adlabs holds the overseas distribution rights, Studio 18 will distribute the movie in India.

Ghajini is the Hindi adaptation of the Tamil film by the same name and is directed by A R Murugadoss. The movie also stars Asin and Jiah Khan and has music by A R Rahman.

At the time of filing this report, Mantena was not available for comment.


Ileana and her commercial for Ocher

Ileana who debuted in Tamil films with 'Kedi' is a very big name to reckon with in the Telugu film industry churning out big time hit movies. The actress with her sleek and sophisticated look will be making a comeback to Tamil Cinema in a film where she'd star with Vikram.

Meanwhile, there was a rumor that she would be acting alongside Rajinikanth for the animated flick 'Sultan- The Warrior' produced and directed by Soundarya Rajinikanth for Ocher Studios. This proved to be false information.

But then there is truth in Ileana's connection with Ocher Studios. The actress will feature in an advertisement made by the production house for a textile shop. Incidentally, this is the first attempt by Ocher Studios in the world of commercials.


'Sakkarakatti' is a refreshing movie – Santhanoo

'Sakkarakatti' is a young and fresh movie, says Santhanoo Bhagyaraj, son of veteran director-actor Bhagyaraj, who is making his foray into tinsel town.

The movie is produced by Kalaipuli S Thanu and is directed by his son Kalaprabhu. Says Santhanoo, "It is a romantic comedy and I have a chocolate-boy role. The movie has come out really good. Ishitha and Vedika play my heroines".

On A R Rahman's musical score for the movie, he says, "It is just fantastic. The songs are already topping the charts. It's a dream come true experience for me to be part of a movie that has score by Rahman".

On the delay of 'Sakkarakatti's' release, he says, "We are in no hurry. The post-production work are almost over and we are waiting for the appropriate moment to hit the screens".

"Kalaprabhu is an intelligent director. He knows the knack of making commercial movies. His story is really awesome", adds the debutante.


Cameo role earns him six times more than the hero

Jackie Chan had inked a deal to play a cameo role in Nair San, which has Mohanlal in the title role. Interestingly, Jackie Chan’s pay packet is about six times greater than of Mohanlal’s, according to sources. Nair San is a biographical film made on Ayappan Pillai Madhavan Nair, who posed stiff resistance to the British. Nair San’s shooting will commence in
September and it is slated to be filmed in Japan, Mongolia and India. Nair San will be directed by Albert and the venture is produced by Morpheus Ventures. A.R. Rahman scores the music for this film.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sakkarakatti's highway song

While Rahman's chartbusting music for the Shantanu starrer Sakkarakatti is already catching attention, the crew is busy shooting a few songs for a final wrap of the film. Rahman has scored 6 songs for the movie of which the Taxi Taxi song is now being filmed in and around Chennai.

The song is said to be shot entirely in
highways, predominantly the scenic Chennai – Pondy ECR road. State-of-the-art cameras are also rumored to be employed for the song to make the picturization and angles look stylish. Cast and crew of Sakkarakatti are recently spotted on the ECR, off Chennai, while filming the song.


“I did not cast Asin in Ghajini,” says Aamir

Refuting all rumors that he was responsible for casting Asin the Hindi version of Ghajini, Aamir clarified that she was director Murugadoss’s choice. Aamir finally broke his silence over this issue, as it was widely speculated that Asin landed on the role again on Aamir’s insistence. Speaking about her performance in Ghajini, Aamir said that she had all
that it takes to be one among the leading stars in Bollywood.

On Asin’s perfect Hindi accent, Aamir said that she had the accent right and he was amazed when she dubbed for the film. Well, isn’t Asin known for her linguistic abilities?


Soundarya Rajinikanth and Kamal team up!

For Marmayogi, Kamal Haasan has decided to switch from Pyramid Saimira to Soundarya Rajinikanth’s Ocher-Warner productions. As reported earlier Soundarya is in the process of producing films in collaboration with WarnerBros. Most recently, they have reportedly paid a huge advance to Jayam and Raja Ravi for an upcoming film.

Kamal is reported to have returned the advance he took from Pyramid Saimira and is intiatiating talks with Ocher Studios to produce his next historical magnum opus. The reason sited is that Pyramid were reluctant to go as high as 150 crores for Marmayogi’s budget. They were more comfortable with 100.

Kamal has apparently, as a first step, sent the entire script of Marmayogi to Warner Bros in the U.S. so that they would get an idea of the kind of production he has in mind for this period epic. The only question now is: will Warner Bros go for it?


Monday, August 11, 2008

Rajini's Robot starts shooting

The much expected magnum opus of Indian Cinema, Superstar Rajinikanth's Robot shooting was started yesterday in Los Angeles, USA. According to the sources, Rajinikanth has attended the first day shooting and director Shankar shot a scene with the actor and Aishwarya Bachchan, the heroine of Rajinikanth in Robot. The actress has attended the shooting after the completion of her Unforgettable world tour.

Produced by Ayngaran Films International, Robot is the first multi lingual film, which will be made in 4 languages i.e., Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and English. Since it is the film based on writer Sujatha's complete science fiction, there will be lot of CG works to be done to make the film with international standards. This is the main reason for Shankar's US schedule.

For Rajini, the success of film is a prestige issue. So he gave unlimited call sheet to this project. Only for Shankar's convenience, Rajini completed his daughter Soundarya's maiden venture Sultan - The Warrior quickly and came to this mega project.


Tamil film industry frowns at corporate film ‘raiders’

Star prices in the Tamil film industry have sky rocketed ever since Mumbai’s corporate world entered the field,

Entertainment majors like Adlabs, UTV, Moser Baer, Eros Entertainment and Ashtavinayak have made inroads into the southern film industry by offering 20 percent commission - making it difficult for the southern entertainment companies to compete.

Director S. Ramanarayanan, also president of the Tamil Film Producers’ Council (TFPC), said the entry of the Mumbai corporate world had rendered star prices beyond the reach of hardworking entertainment companies.

‘The despicable 20 percent commission culture that has begun plaguing the south Indian film industry has allowed corporate raiders that have zero commitment to our culture to gain more than a foothold here,’ Ramanarayanan told IANS.

‘Driven by their yearning for pelf, they are driving star prices sky high for a reported 20 percent commission leaving the mainstays of the south high and dry,’ Ramanarayanan fumed.

According to reports, the Mumbai companies are offering B-grade southern stars Rs.12 million per film - way beyond the Rs.4 million they were getting earlier. The top two stars, Rajnikant and Kamal Haasan are untouched by the new developments. While Rajnikant, whose ‘Kuselan’ released recently, has not signed any film, Kamal is an independent filmmaker.

The other popular stars Vijay and Ajit have not signed any venture with the Mumbai firms, said a source.

‘We ought to learn a thing or two from Hollywood professionals,’ Ramanarayanan pointed out. ‘While Walt Disney is collaborating with southern mainstay Pyramid Saimira to make the forthcoming Kamal Hassan starrer ‘Marmayogi’, Warner Brothers are doing business only with the committed Saundarya Rajnikant to make an animated film.’

‘Neither of the Hollywood companies pays any commission,’ the director remarked.

Significantly, while most of the Mumbai-based business houses have demanded memberships of TFPC, the two Hollywood outfits have steered clear of the move as they have little interest in pocketing the generous subsidies made available by film technician Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi or capturing the world of south Indian cinema, film sources added.

The TFPC has deferred a decision to admit the Mumbai corporate houses at its next general body meeting.

‘At least 80 people claiming to be directors representing Mumbai corporate entities have approached me with an unrealistically high price, provided I cooperated in fudging the books. Though I turned them down others have not,’ a top actor admitted on condition of anonymity.

A top actress differed with this view.

‘Till recently, top cricketers earned a pittance when the Board of Control for Cricket in India made itself the richest body in the world. The entry of corporate houses has made our sportsmen richer. So why not us as well,’ the actress, who stars in at least two big ventures, argued.

Corporate houses have resented the TFPC outburst.

A source close to Moser Baer said Ramanarayanan’s views were lopsided.

‘Production houses and their pet directors in the south churned out silly movies in the past at massive costs. Our entry has infused a new found professionalism into the set up. While stories can no longer be stolen, inane movies will soon be a thing of the past. The corporate world has forced arm-chair story-thieves to clean up their act or close shop,’ the source said.


'Kuruvi' flies high

The Vijay starrer 'Kuruvi' has successfully completed its 100-day run across a few theatres. Produced by Udhayanidhi Stalin, grandson of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and son of Minister M. K Stalin, Kuruvi brought together the successful 'Ghilli' team. Vijay, Trisha, director Dharani and music director Vidyasagar managed to recreate the magic of 'Ghilli' with 'Kuruvi'.

An action-packed venture, the movie managed to find favor with Vijay fans and completed its 100-day run on Friday. A thrilled Dharani, says, ' we are happy to have made it big. We are hopeful to continue the good run'.

Meanwhile Udhayanidhi has geared up to commence his next venture which would feature Suriya and Nayanthara in lead role. The movie is to be directed by K S Ravikumar and buzz is that A R Rahman will be composing music for the film.


Kamal and Asin in Walt Disney film!

Bharath Bala and his Bharath Bala Productions (BBP) who makes television commercials, documentaries and music videos have now tied up with Walt Disney to produce a feature film in English. The martial arts film titled 19 Steps, will feature Kamal Hassan, Japanese superstar Tadanobu Asano, and Asin in the lead roles. It will be directed by Bharath Bala and will have music by A.R Rahman.

Remember Bala and Rahman combo have produced the unforgettable music video documentaries like Jana Gana Mana and Vande Mataram.

Bala's film is based on a script written by the best known writer in Malayalam M.T Vasudevan Nair or MT as he is popularly known, a Jnanpith award winner who has won five National awards for screenplay writing.

This period film deals with Kalaripayattu the martial arts form from Kerala and will trace its roots to the ninth century.

MT, the 75 year old literary giant has written on Kerala folklores and warlords in films like Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha and is now the script writer of Hariharan directed Pazhassi Raja, the costliest Malayalam film ever, a historical featuring Mammootty and Sarath Kumar.

MT's script is now being re-written by Hollywood script doctors to give 19 Steps an international look and suitable for an overseas audience.

In the film Kamal plays a character role of a veteran Kalaripayattu guru who trains Tadanobu Asano in his fight against his enemies. Asin will play a local princess and a martial arts expert who falls in love with Asano.

The shooting of the $ 50 million film is likely to start in the summer of 2009, and Walt Disney wants a fusion of Japanese and Indian martial arts in the film.

It will have versions in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Japanese. Recently Bharat Bala told a tabloid "It's too early to disclose anything. Currently we are in the midst of negotiations."


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kamal film to be produced by Rajni's daughter?

Soundarya Rajnikanth, whose Ocher Studios is in the process of producing films in collaboration with Hollywood production company Warner Brothers, has reportedly paid a hefty advance each to the brothers 'Jeyam' Ravi and Raja for her next film. The celebrity brothers will be joining hands for the fifth time after their back-to-back hits four times in a row.

Recent reports indicate that even Kamal's 'Marmayogi' might fall into the hands of the Ocher Studios-Warner Brothers combine. Kamal is said to have returned the advance amount to the company, which was about to produce the film, and has reportedly initiated talks with Soundarya and Warner Brothers to associate himself with them.

As a first step, Kamal Haasan has reportedly sent the entire 'script' of his 'Marmayogi' to Warner Brothers' bosses in the U.S. Once Kamal gets the nod, he would be working closely with them and Soundarya.

The reason for Kamal's decision to switch over to Warner-Soundarya combine is said to be the hike in the production cost of the film from Rs.100 crores to Rs.150 crores. This was obviously not acceptable to the previous company.


Kamal with Tadanobu Asano

Kamal Haasan, one of the most talented actors and filmmakers in the world, is all set to share screen space with Japanese superstar Tadanobu Asano in an Indo-Japanese film, slated to be made on a 50-million dollar budget. Tadanobu Asano, one of the superstars in Japan right now, has acted in over 50 films, including the recent Mongol which broke all box-office records.

Produced and directed by Bharatbala, the film will trace the origins of the martial art form of Kerala, Kalarippayattu. It is heard that the movie will be evolved in the backdrop of the ninth century.

Currently, research is underway to fine-tune the factual elements of Kalarippayattu which is as old as the great Indian philosophy and the Vedas. It is rooted deep in the Vedic culture of India. It is considered by many as the most comprehensive of all the martial traditions.

According to sources, Kamal Haasan is very excited about this film with Bharatbala. However, Kamal's participatin of the film is not confirmed yet as he is abroad. Although the lead lady of the film is yet to be finalized, it is heard that the film makers are looking for a heroine with an athletic build.

The film, which is expected to go on floors some time next year, will be made in Hindi, Tamil and Japanese. Music director A.R. Rahman has been finalized for the music score. The film will be produced and directed by Bharatbala and co-produced by Walt Disney.


Mohanlal, Jackie Chan to act in a film

Actors Mohanlal and Jackie Chan will act together in a Japanese film “Nair San.” The shooting will begin shortly, say industry sources.

The film will be directed by Albert, an alumnus of the Tamil Nadu Film and Television Institute in Chennai.

“Nair San” is the story of a freedom fighter of Indian origin in Japan. Born to a Tamil father and a Malayalee mother, he grew up and fought for the freedom of Asia and particularly India, during the imperialist supremacy of the British in the early to middle 1900. According to director Albert, whose debut film “Kanne Madanguka” was the recipient of three Kerala State awards and three debut directorial awards, freedom fighter Nair San was not hailed much in his own country but he is a revered icon in Japanese history and economy. The title role, Nair San, will be played by Mohanlal. Asked how he feels, Mohanlal said that he was overwhelmed to act in the title role.

Jackie Chan has consented to do a cameo in the film. He has also agreed to choreograph the fight sequences. The camera is to be handled by Vaidy S. and the A.R.Rahman is expected to score the music.

The first schedule of the film featuring Mohanlal and Jackie Chan will start in Mongolian deserts in the first week of September


Kamal snubs Bharathiraja

Director Bharathiraja has always been known to court controversies, of all kinds. And he has also been taking potshots at Kamal Hassan, his protégé, from time to time. And Kamal too never seemed to mind the comments coming from his mentor who gave him the phenomenal hit ‘Pathinaru Vayathinile’ plus many other memorable hits. But this time Bharathiraja appears to have gone overboard and Kamal too chose to react.

Bharathiraja had criticized Kamal’s ‘Dasavatharam’ for lacking in ‘proper script and screenplay’ and he is also reported to have said that ‘Dasavatharam’ had nothing called a ‘story’. Kamal, as usual, chose to remain silent when these comments came up.

Meanwhile, Bharathiraja’s daughter’s marriage is scheduled to take place in Malaysia, in a grand manner. And Bharathiraja has decided to take most of the industry’s VIPs to Malaysia for the wedding at his own expense. And for this, he has instructed his assistants to collect the passports of those on the list of invitees. When these assistants approached Kamal to get his passport, Kamal is reported to have sent them back, saying curtly that he has got to spend more time in writing a ‘proper script’ for his ‘Marmayogi’ so that next time Bharathiraja wouldn’t be criticizing his work. He reportedly said that since he has to concentrate on ‘script-writing’, he won’t be able to come to Malaysia.


College-goers go crazy over Aamir’s ‘Ghajini’ hairstyle

Imran Khan may be ruling the hearts of college-goers after his debut in a refreshing puppy love story – ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’, but it is ‘Mamu’ Aamir whose ‘Ghajini’ hairstyle has taken the campuses by storm.

Aamir’s ‘Ghajini’ haircut has become so popular in colleges that the authorities in Bangalore have banned the hairstyle. Students sporting Aamir’s ‘Ghajini’ look are not being allowed to enter classrooms.

Sounding amused over the incident, Aamir Khan said that he is surprised at the ban and didn’t know that a hairstyle poses as a distraction in studies.

But ban or no ban, campus kids are in no mood to do away with the trendy Aamir’s hairstyle. Clearly ‘Mamu’ Aamir is having an edge over ‘Bhanja’ Imran!


Friday, August 08, 2008

Kamal Haasan's Rs 150 crore film!

After the success of his last Tamil film, Dasavathaaram, Kamal Haasan  has already started work on his next project titled Marmayogi. The film, which is touted to be Kamal Haasan's answer to Hollywood movies like Gladiator and Braveheart in sheer grandeur, comes at a cost of a whopping Rs 1.50 crores!

A state-of-the-art camera called Red Eye would be used for shooting. Since the camera's daily rent is around Rs 30,000, the producer is planning to purchase a brand new one instead of hiring it.

The film is set against the backdrop of the seventh century BC. Kamal is planning to use up the video footage he had shot for his 'on-again, off-again' project Maruthanayagam. At least, by doing so, he can ensure that some part of the amount spent for Maruthanayagam is used up in a useful manner.

Another interesting thing about the movie is that Hema Malini , who played a brief role in Kamal's Hey Ram, has been roped in to play a negative role -- her first such role in an illustrious career spanning more than three decades.


Aamir & Surya in Murugadoss’s next!

The Aamir - Asin starrer Ghajini is finally wrapped up. With the remaining couple of songs having been shot recently, Murugadoss is busy with the post-production work. The director is said to be busy in the editing studios of Mumbai burning the midnight oil to get the movie ready for a Deepavali release. Inside sources assert that Ghajini would be ready to release in October.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Murugadoss has planned his next Tamil venture with Surya. We also got wind of the news that Aamir’s dates are requested for a cameo role in the movie. Although it is not known whether Aamir has nodded consent, given the fact that Aamir and Murugadoss get along famously well, that sounds like a possibility indeed.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sneak peak on Mani Ratnam’s next….

India’s ace director Mani Ratnam is gearing up for his next project and the industry is abuzz with a variety of colorful speculations. It is being said that the project will be a bilingual to be made in Hindi and Tamil. Aishwarya Rai will be the screen partner for the heroes in both the languages. Prithviraj and Priya Mani also are reported to be in pivotal casts.

An interesting fact about this project is that Karthik who made everyone sit up and notice his performance, albeit a small one, in Mani Ratnam’s Mouna Ragam would be making a comeback as a villain. In fact Karthik’s role in Mouna Ragam is considered as a benchmark even now for guest appearances and the actor brought in a fresh lease of life in the short but intense role and made a memorable impact on the audience.
As regards off screen cast, cinematographer P C Sriram was to handle the camera for this project but due to prior commitments, he is said to have opted out of the project and in his place comes Manikandan who has worked in prestigious projects like Anniyan in Tamil and Om Shanthi Om and Main Hoon Na in Hindi. When a question was raised about the main plot of the film, it was understood that it would be based on the story of the epic Ramayana. Readers may recall that Mani Ratnam had earlier made Thalapathy drawing inspiration from Mahabharata.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Aishwarya Rai on ‘ROBOT’

Aishwarya Rai has finally spoken out on ‘Robot’. The former Miss World has said that she has earmarked the entire month of September to shoot for Rajinikanth's ‘Robot’.

'Rajini and director Shankar have been very busy over the past few weeks with the groundwork for ‘Robot’. I will join them in September,' said Aishwarya, when asked about the mega project.

Meanwhile, Rajini told reporters in Thirupathi a couple of days ago that he along with director Shankar would leave for the US soon to start filming ‘Robot’, which is being jointly produced by Ayngaran and Eros International.

Will Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai paint the town red together?


Mani makes more money!

India's best known director Mani Ratnam and his Madras Talkies has signed a record Rs 120 crore deal with the Anil Ambani run Reliance Entertainment Big Picture, for his new untitled film in three languages- Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

Mani sir as he is affectionately known in Kollywood has been quietly working on the script of this film, since the release of his super hit Guru in January 2007.

The Hindi version will feature Abhishek Bachchan- Aishwarya Rai and Govinda in a negative role. The Tamil and Telugu version will have Vikram doing Abhishek’s role while Aishwarya Rai will be the common heroine for all the three versions. It is going to be a tight rope walk for her as she has to juggle her dates with Shankar's Rajinikanth extravaganza 'Robot', during the same period.

And the role being done by Govinda would be essayed by Pritviraj, who actually started his career in Tamil in a villain's role in Kana Kandein. There are rumours that Karthik who last worked with Mani in Agninakshthram, will also be roped in to play an important role. Priya Mani too will be playing a role in the film which will start rolling in Karaikudi from September 10, and will also be shot in the forests of Madhya Pradesh.

Mani's all time favourite and his 'discovery' A.R Rahman will be composing songs for this film which has now become one of the hottest projects in the country. Ace cameraman Manikandan who is now shooting for Priyadarsan's Biloo Barber in Pollachi will be the cameraman.

Mani sir as usual was unavailable for comment and Reliance Entertainment Big Picture spokesman in Chennai too refused to talk about the deal.


Abhishek & Sonam's DILLI 6 postponed

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra directorial venture DILLI 6 starring Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor and Kunal Kapoor in the lead has been postponed to February 2009 end release. It was earlier planned to release in late December 2008.

The reason being cited by the unit insiders are that the Bachchan's long 'Unforgettable Tour' which will be covering almost the entire globe will take months to complete. Also there were certain corrections made in the script of DILLI 6, after the last schedule ended which had the participation of all its main cast. Now these new sequences shall take time to be filmed as Abhishek is engaged with his first ever world tour.

A February 2009 end release means Sonam Kapoor shall have absolutely no single release in 2008. Her first film SAAWARIYA came in November 2007. Now with DILLI 6 being postponed and no other film of hers looking set to release in this year, her fans are definitely going to be disappointed with this long wait. Reportedly, Amitabh Bachchan too is all set to join the DILLI 6 cast in a special appearance playing the role of his real life son, Abhishek's grand father in the film.


Marmayogi = Maruthanayagam?

With the commencement of Marmayogi, it's time for controversies to take centre stage. The recent buzz that has been doing rounds in Kollywood is that Kamal Haasan is trying to revive his dream project Maruthanayagam and pass it off as Marmayogi. A few years ago, the ambitious actor started Maruthanayagam amidst much fanfare. It may be recounted that this
film, which was also directed by Kamal, was shelved when a section of the society raised a hue and cry over depicting their community in dark light. But Kamal's new appearance for Marmayogi, which is similar to one he sported during the Maruthanayagam days, has raised doubts that he has plans to serve the old wine in a new bottle. However, Marmayogi is based in the 7th century while Maruthanayagam was a warrior who lived in the 18th century.

Robot shooting in the US

Rajinikanth is all set to travel to the US to participate in Robot shooting, which is slated to begin there. The Superstar said that he would proceed for the US in four days time. Meanwhile, the actor is busy trying to complete a song sequence for Sultan – The Warrior, an animation film by his daughter Soundarya.

The shooting of Sultan – The Warrior is on at Hyderabad and would be wrapped up right on time for the actor to pack up to the US. The actor was spotted in Tirupathi on Sunday, where he had come to worship. When the press wanted to know if Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan would be a part of the shooting in the U.S, a diplomatic Rajini said that he is not aware if director Shankar has plans to shoot scenes involving her. Interestingly, Ash is on the world tour – Unforgettable – and is currently camping in the US.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

After Kuselan, Rajinikanth gears up for Robot

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth is likely to leave for the US shortly to join the US based production team of his Rs 1.5 billion venture Robot, said publicists.

Robot will be a sci-fi movie and stars Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai in the female lead. She has already reported for the photo-shoot schedule. It is being directed by Shankar whose last offering with Rajinikanth, Sivaji - The Boss broke all box-office records, publicists added.

The movie will be simultaneously produced in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and two other Indian languages besides being later dubbed into English, Japanese and Malay. After Rajinikanth agrees to the final script, shooting will commence from August 15.

The extravaganza is being jointly produced by London-based Ayngaran International and Eros Entertainment. While Rajinikanth's Kuselan has released today, he has almost completed his daughter Soundarya's Ocher Studios' Rs 2 billion animated production which has live shots of the superstar.


Sukhwinder's Stellar Dreams

It seems that Himesh Reshammiya has been inspiring a lot of people. The manner in which Himesh managed to turn himself into an actor from a singer cum composer is now inspiring none other than singer composer Sukhwinder Singh.

The singer is apparently very serious about making his debut as an actor. In fact, he is believed to be in talks with a producer, who will be launching him as the leading man. The search is on for a fresh young female face, who will be cast as Sukhwinder''s romantic interest in the movie.

The singer, who is known to be very close to AR Rahman, is believed to have requested the music maestro to compose the music for his debut film. The full details of project have not yet been made public so the name of the director is still a mystery.

According to sources, Sukhwinder is so inspired by Himesh that the story of his film is supposed to be based on the theme of reincarnation, which is what Himesh's next film, Karzzzz is about.

Sukhwinder is getting camera friendly and working out for the role as well. He is currently a judge on one of the musical reality shows being aired on television.

This is the first time that he is playing judge, and one can understand that one of his motivations for doing so is also the fact that he is trying to get familiar with the medium. We are sure that Himesh will be delighted to have some company.


Surya & Nayanthara paired for first time!

Udayanidhi Stalin’s home banner Red Giant Movies has a casting coup- Surya and Nayanthara coming together for the first time in an untitled film to be directed by K.S Ravi Kumar.

It is going to be Udayanidhi Stalin's second venture after Kuruvi. The shoot will start some time in December, after Surya completes Ayan and Nayanthara finishes her current assignments, Aegan and Villu.

Nayanthara had done a brief appearance in Surya’s Ghajani in which Asin was the heroine. K.S Ravi Kumar was trying to bring them together, and now it has become a reality.

Ravi Kumar will complete Jaggu Bhai, by October end, and then start work on the new film, which is likely to have music by A.R Rahman. The other things are being worked out as the film is likely to be a summer 2009 release.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Rajinikanth already costing producer before shooting starts

It is understood that a Rajini film will cost lots money as the class of the film by default will always be well above par laden with oodles of style to match the Superstar's charisma. This style and glamour forms a majority of the budget of a Rajini film. Every producer expects this and prepares for this.

Now with Rajini's Robot, it seems that bar is being upped even before the actual shooting of the film starts. The film has Aishwarya Rai along with Superstar. Ash is now touring with The Unforgettable Tour in the US. The film will start full swing she is back in the country. If you consider the rate that the Rajini goes at (he got 25 crores for Shivaji) and the rate that Aishwarya is getting paid for the film, one can safely assume that the film's producer has already got a huge bill to play even before the film starts shooting.

But his woes are just starting. The initial photo shoot which is set to take as soon as Aishwarya's schedule allows it has already costed the producer a whole crore for just wardrobe, the set and other such things. Shankar has promised that Robot will be way grander than the grand film of grand films in Tamil Cinema, Shivaji.

So is this a sign of how big Robot will ventually? If so, then all eyes are waiting to savour the first look of the film and the film itself much more.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Bhagyaraj's second innings with ‘Puthiya Varpugal’

Actor Bhagyaraj has almost completed shooting for his next directorial venture 'Puthiya Varpugal'. Starring his son Santhanoo in the lead role, the movie went to floors a couple of months ago.

Santhanoo, who is eagerly, awaiting the release of his maiden venture 'Sakkarakatti', plays a happy-go-lucky-youngster in the movie.

Sources close to Bhagyaraj say, 'the movie's title is inspired by Bhagyaraj's yesteryear hit film. However it is not its remake.'

Major portions of the film have been shot and song sequences are yet to be canned. Dharan has scored the music.

'Santhanoo has played his part well and he hopefully emerges as a star to reckon with in future', they added.

Bhagyaraj's last directorial venture was 'Parijatham', which features Prithviraj and his daughter Saranya in the lead roles.