It’s no secret that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a Mani Ratnam muse and some of her best films have been with the master filmmaker. So when Ratnam had to cast a leading lady for his most ambitious project, a three film periodic franchise based along the lines of Baahubali, he approached Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to play the part. The film is an adaptation of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s popular historical novel Ponniyin Selvan. The five-volume tome narrates the story of Arulmozhivarman, who was crowned as Rajaraja Chola I during the 10th and 11th century. A source reveals, “There will be an ensemble cast. The actors have already been asked to give bulk dates and commit a few years to this film, as it will be made in several parts. The book has five volumes, but the makers are planning to conceptualise it as three instalments on screen.”
Confirming that the Sarabjit actor will be playing the female lead in this bilingual film, the source told a leading daily, “It’s a big-budget historical drama, which is being planned on the lines of the Baahubali franchise. It’s likely to be a bilingual project and star several other big names from the South Indian film industry. Mani approached his muse Aishwarya for the female lead and she signed on the dotted line.” And while we’re sure the Bachchan Bahu has been confirmed for the part, Mani Ratnam has also approached Amitabh Bachchan to play a character in the film. The source adds, “Mani has narrated the script to Amitji. He is taking his time to decide whether he would like to do it. A confirmation from his end is yet to come but he has liked the idea.”
The makers are expected to make an official announcement of the same on the occasion of Pongal, January 14th.
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