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August 2005

Shah Rukh, Aamir in epic roles

How about the Mahabharata with a superstar touch to it? Well, if all goes well, the two mighty Khans ? Shah Rukh and Aamir ? will share screen space for the first time in roles befitting their epic stature. They will play Karan and Arjun (though it is not being revealed who will play who) in the Mahabharata, which is being recreated by producer Bobby Bedi into a trilogy of Rs 300 crore. The fiery Draupadi will be played by Bollywood's current queen Rani Mukherjee. Says Bedi: "I hope to make a historic movie series in the manner of The Lord of The Rings so that American, British, Japanese and Indian children can understand the true significance of the Mahabharata." Ace director Mani Ratnam will direct the trilogy.

Meanwhile, filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh plans to rope in Dimple Kapadia and Shabana Azmi as Gandhari and Kunti respectively, for his bilingual film based on the Mahabaharata.

Ben Kingsley is Ash's co-star

Doubting Thomases who thought that Aishwarya Rai was only hallucinating about her international career will have to eat humble pie, for the actress begins work on her first major Hollywood project this August. Last Legion, set during the fall of the Roman Empire and featuring Ben Kingsley of Gandhi fame, has Ash playing the female lead. The movie will be shot in Tunisia, Italy and Slovakia. What's more, Last Legion is being produced by the late Dino de Laurentiis' company that produced classics like War and Peace and Silence of the Lambs. Back home, Ash has replaced Priyanka Chopra in and as JP Dutta's Umrao Jaan. Priyanka apparently had a clogged date diary. But the sporting girl that she is, Priyanka is not sulking over her loss. Rather, the Aitraaz girl has in a way, already settled scores! She has replaced Aishwarya in Rohan Sippy's Bluff Master. Ash was reportedly not even informed about her ouster from the project.

Incidentally, Meera is also set to play Umrao Jaan in another remake of Muzaffar Ali's film. This one is produced by Afzal Khan and stars Ajay Devgan.

Vivek gets into action with Sunny

Aishwarya Rai can take heart. It's not his female co-stars but the male co-stars that Vivek Oberoi has been having a ball with ? on screen, of course. In fact, Ash's beau seems to have made a career out of films on male bonding ? in Company there was Ajay Devgan, in Yuva he had Abhishek Bachchan and Ajay for company, in Masti he whooped it up with Ritesh and Aftab and in Kaal he spent more time with John Abraham and tigers than with Lara Dutta and Esha Deol! And now, Vivek and macho man Sunny Deol will team up in an out-and-out yet untitled action film. Gushes Vivek: "I've always been a great Sunny Deol fan. To me real, Hindi cinema is Gadar where Sunny wrenches off the water pump. Wow! For the first time, I get to work with Sunny. I'm so excited." So this will be Vivek's chance to fly across rooms and waltz in the sky, as he says.


Vivek also plays the lead in Sujoy Ghosh's Home Delivery which has director Karan Johar playing himself in it.

Here come the chocolate heroes!

Imagine three muscular, hunky heroes trying to be chocolate heroes! But before the original loverboys Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Fardeen Khan and Shahid Kapoor do a somersault, let us hasten to clarify that it's only for a movie titled?.Chocolate! The brawny trio comprises Sunil Shetty, Anil Kapoor and Arshad Warsi. The movie has been shot in the US and also stars Mahima Choudhary.

Talking of Anil Kapoor, he is terribly excited about My Wife's Murder, calling it his best film ever. This was reportedly the first script Ram Gopal Varma ever wrote. The film has an interesting cast besides Anil ? Suchitra Krishnamoorthy, Boman Irani and Nandana Sen. It is about a man whose life is thrown into turmoil after the sudden death of his wife. The movie is slated to release on August 5.

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