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    Too hot to handle
    Ever since Kangana Ranaut rejected Sultan,
    maintaining that “there wouldn’t be room in the film
    for two sultans”, there are strong rumours that many leading male
    actors are unwilling to work with her. In fact, it hardly surprised anyone when she wasn’t considered for Aanand L Rai’s untitled film with Shah Rukh Khan. Despite delivering two back-to-back hits with Ranaut, Rai was reportedly keener to cast Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma or Katrina Kaif. Bollywood insiders call her the ‘female Aamir Khan’ for her interest in actively collaborating with the script, costume and other departments, something that didn’t please the Raanjhanaa director, leaving him a little sceptical about involving two headstrong actors in the same film. Meanwhile, Kangana, after reading the manuscript of Chetan Bhagat’s yet-to-be-launched book, One Indian Girl, was apparently impressed by its feminist undertones and has expressed an interest in being part of the film, which is said to be filmed next year.
    She is currently shooting for Vishal Baradwaj’s Rangoon.

    Still on top
    Despite merciless reviews for Baar Baar Dekho and Fitoor, Katrina Kaif still has the cream of projects. Like Anurag Basu’s Jagga Jasoos. Starring Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor, it has been in the making for a while, and was stalled further when the couple broke up. It chronicles the life of Jagga (Kapoor), who turns recluse when his father dies under suspicious circumstances. Kaif plays his dedicated lover who helps Kapoor in his quest to find the truth about his dad’s death, in a tale that sees the couple travel to Kolkata and Morocco. The film is now looking at an April 2017 release. Besides this, the actress also has Aanand L Rai’s film— slated to be a two-heroine project, where Shah Rukh Khan plays a dwarf—and Raat Baaki with Fawad Khan, which will see Karan Johar and Fox Studios teaming up for a love story about two Punjabi families. There is also Tiger Zinda Hai, an Ali Abbas Zafar film that will see her opposite Salman Khan.

    Going solo
    Abhishek Bachchan seems to have finally landed a solo hero film—if rumour mills are anything to go by. The untitled project with Prabhu Deva as director, is touted to be an out-and-out commercial production. With his last multi-starrer, Housefull 3, failing to bring in the audience, Junior Bachchan is keen on doing more solo projects. Meanwhile, the trailer of Deva’s upcoming multi-lingual film, Tutak Tutak Tutiya, directed by AL Vijay, co-starring Tamannaah Bhatia, is already making waves on YouTube. The movie, which is also Sonu Sood’s maiden production venture, has Shah Rukh Khan lending his voice to the trailer and choreographer-turned filmmaker Farah Khan appearing in a cameo. The trilingual is slated to release on October 7.

    Third time lucky
    Imtiaz Ali’s next will see Shah Rukh Khan team up with Anushka Sharma for the third time. The project, titled The Ring, will see Sharma playing yet another sports-related character. Only this time, she is fanatic about sports stars. The film’s first schedule just concluded in Prague, with Khan playing a tourist guide. He even posted a video—at a museum in the city—on Instagram, captioning it ‘Pretty in Prague’. The film’s shooting is expected to finish by the end of the year, with the movie slated to release in August next year—seemingly clashing with Akshay Kumar’s Crack, directed by Neeraj Pandey.

    (Udita Jhunjhunwala will return next month)

    - Neelima Menon

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