This could well be one of the best casting coups ever, if everything falls in place. After a gap of almost four years, Shah Rukh Khan is back with a bang. He seems to be on a signing spree and has some of the best filmmakers on his roster today. Shah Rukh is currently shooting for Pathan, touted to be one of the most expensive action entertainers coming out of Aditya Chopra’s production house. And after signing Bigil director, Atlee’s action-thriller, the pre-production of which has already begun, it seems he has given his nod to Rajkumar Hirani’s next that will see him team up once again with Kajol.
Giving insights into the latest developments, a source says, “Hirani’s next is a social comedy about immigration and the journey of a man and his family across two countries — Punjab and Canada — with a strong emotional cord running through it, just like all his other movies. All the four principal actors have performance-oriented roles. There are three actresses in the movie — one plays Shah Rukh’s wife, and two more strong, layered, pivotal characters. While Kajol will play his spouse, apparently Taapsee Pannu has been approached to play a reporter, who covers his story across borders. Vidya Balan is also in talks for the third female character, someone who helps Shah Rukh in his journey. It’s interesting to note that Vidya has always spoken about how she has never been approached for a Shah Rukh movie. Apparently, Hirani was extremely impressed with Vidya’s performance in Sherni, and she fits the role that’s penned for the new movie as well.”
Hirani is currently fine-tuning the script and the shoot is expected to commence from April, 2022. “The filmmaker is keen to cast Shah Rukh and Kajol for his next. They last worked together in Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale (2015), and the pair has given several blockbusters and has an excellent box office track record. It’s an exciting combination as Hirani and Kajol have never worked together. Plus, Shah Rukh-Kajol jodi is an explosive combination. And, if Taapsee and Vidya too give their nods to the project, it will be a casting coup! Hirani has given a final narration to the actors. But things are still in the nascent stage and a formal announcement will be made only after everything (dates, remuneration, contract) falls in place. The actors have been asked not to reveal anything,” the source adds.
Buzz is, Manoj Bajpayee is also on the cast list, along with Boman Irani who will be play a key role in the film. “Apart from being Hirani’s favourite, he [Boman] is one of the finest actors we have today. His role in the movie is a quirky one, just like some of his previous characters from Hirani’s movies. The music for the movie will be composed by Shantanu Moitra with lyrics by Swanand Kirkire,” the source shared.
While the film was to kick-off last year, the pandemic played spoilsport. “Hirani then wanted to rewrite the script, which took time. It will be a joint production between Hirani and Shah Rukh’s production house, Red Chillies, with Hirani also directing the film,” the source added.
Last month, Taapsee had denied signing the movie, but the source insists she is very much in talks for the film. “Taapsee had done Shah Rukh’s home production, Badla. Hirani’s movie has been co-written by Kanika Dhillon and the filmmaker is overseeing the script with with Abhijat Joshi. Kanika and Taapsee have a comfortable rapport as the writer has written some strong, complex characters for the actress in movies like Haseen Dillruba and Manmarziyaan, and the one in Hirani’s next is also an exciting one.”
Shah Rukh is also in talks with Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK for their action-thriller.