Abhishek-Aishwarya in Prahlad Kakkar’s Happy Anniversary?

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The long wait is finally over! Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is making a grand comeback with none other than her dearest husband and actor Abhishek Bachchan in Gaurang Doshi’s ‘Happy Anniversary’. Ash has signed the dotted line and the film will go on floor in early next year. The film will be shot in South Africa. Both Aishwarya and Abhishek liked the script and gave their nod to the project. The film is based on the “anatomy of marriage’’. The film will be directed by noted ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar.

This is Aishwara first film post the birth of her baby Aaradhya. Ash is working hard to get into the character. She is hitting the gym to shed extra flab. Gaurang Doshi said that Ash would look hot and sexy in the film similar to her image in ‘Dhoom 2’.

“We have finalised Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan for Happy Anniversary. They are ideal married couple and we felt they fit the bill. Prahlad’s relation with Aishwarya and mine with Bachchan’s apart, the script also attracted the couple to do the film,” Gaurang told PTI.

This is Ash and Abhi’s sixth film together. They have worked in movies like ‘Dhai Akshar Prem Ke’, ‘Kuch Naa Kaho’, ‘Guru’, ‘Dhoom 2’, ‘Sarkaar Raj’. ‘Happy Anniversary’ will be made on a budget of 65 crores.

Ash shares a great rapport with Gaurang and Prahlad Kakkar. They were neighbors before Ash got married to Abhishek. Prahlad directed Ash and Aamir in Pepsi commercial 20 years back.

The script of ‘Happy Anniversary’ was penned by Doshi and the screenplay is jointly written by Jay Varma and him. Monika Vimal Maluka is co-producing the film with Gaurang Doshi Productions and UVI Productions.

Doshi speaks about bringing Ash-Abhi together, “I have always had a good equation with the Bachchan family. Prahlad has known Aishwarya for the longest time. Eventually it boils down to the script which was liked and appreciated by both Abhishek and Aishwarya. Why would an actor of the stature of Aishwarya agree to make a comeback in any film if she did not like the script?”

Doshi said as why he signed Prahlad Kakkar as the director, “Prahlad, who is one of the best ad filmmakers in the country has rejected 60 films before he agreed to direct a film for me. A successful ad filmmaker who has refused so many offers must have had good reasons to do so. When I met him we realized we had similar views about the kind of work we wanted to do.”

Gaurang Doshi directed films like Aankhen (starring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Arjun Rampal), Deewar (Amitabh Bachchan, Akshaye Khanna, Sanjay Dutt) and Bawandar (Nandita Das).

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58 Responses to “Abhishek-Aishwarya in Prahlad Kakkar’s Happy Anniversary?”

  1. What in the world is ‘Anatomy of a Marriage’? The only thing I can think of is an experimental French film from the 60s. Very much doubt this is that!

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  2. I know that the Abhi fans on this blog will vehemently disagree, but this is a very risky move for Aishwarya, in my opinion… a middle-aged actress returning to the screen after a sabbatical, paired opposite a commercially unviable hero, directed by an unproven filmmaker.

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    • The film is risky without doubt because this is first-time director. Plus I am always skeptical about the directorial abilities of admen unless proven otherwise! Abhishek isn’t the issue here though because he’s appearing in the safest commercial films otherwise and he will probably have at least a few significant grossers before this one releases. Plus there is a market for the marriage. They’ve never really satisfied their audiences as a couple barring in Guru. But it’s a risky film without doubt. The Masoom remake which was also strongly rumored (though I doubt they’d be doing both) would have been a much safer deal and also a much more palatable one for the audiences. It’s also not clear whether it’s a more offbeat sort of deal or solidly middle cinema. Abhishek has gone commercial with a vengeance recently so it would be a bit odd on his part to suddenly choose a very risky script and for Aishwarya to do the same for a ‘comeback’ deal. Hard to say more but risky for sure.

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      • I do agree that there is a tremendous market for their marraige; I’ve always felt that the rabid curiosity surrounding the Bachchan-Rai union and family is a result of an desire for the average Indian to see the otherworldly beautiful, green-eyed goddess of Indian cinema in the more accessible and relatable avatar of Indian wife, mother and daughter-in-law.

        Take for instance the constant projection of common cultural prejudice on Aishwarya: during Dhoom 2, there were rumours that the Bachchans were so scandalised by her kiss that they had broken off the engagement/ requested for footage of the kiss to be removed.

        And when they did get married after all, the general discomfort at her having chosen to have children later in life was very palpable; there were constant rumours circling about intense family pressure for her to have a child, and even news that Bachchan Sr was annoyed because he desired a male heir pronto!

        If (and its an enormous if) the film taps into this desire to see Aishwarya playing the role of the typical Indian bahu, and makes a heart-warming middle-cinema attempt at portraying middle-class married life, this should do extremely well regardless of anything else.

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        • Even with the safest script an untested director who happens to be an adman is I think a risky proposition. Of course the irony here is that regular directors in Bollywood make extended ads these days and call them films (!) while admen when given the chance try and attempt ambitious films. Kakkar strikes me as the kind of guy who is not just looking to make a good film but trying to make one for the ages! Which is a problem! But more seriously admen often tend to be obsessed with the overall aesthetics of the film and are less able to get to the emotional registers of the subject. So I do believe this is a risky choice even if the script happens to be safe.

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        • On the rumors surrounding the marriage itself there was something interesting here. On the one hand there was all this false anti-Bachchan stuff floating around making them out to be really atavistic types on all of this. But once the marriage happened and they really turned out to be a very progressive couple in many ways the questions you’re referring to arose (‘when will she have a child’ and so on). This is not just about attacking the Bachchans either way. it reflects a certain ‘New Indian’ split where I’ve always felt that the generation that represents this moment is not quite as progressive as it likes to believe. They still have one foot in the old India. In other words they’re all into the benefits of a consumer economy and they’re big on liberalization inasmuch as it has facilitated this. But ultimately they’re looking for the bourgeois security more identified with an older Indian tradition at the end of this road that involves frolicking with Hollywoodized notions of culture and sexuality and so forth (of course Hollywood itself keeps spinning the most conservative messages in many of its own rom-coms.. so for instance if you sleep together just to have a child you nonetheless become a proper couple somewhere along the way!) along the way. Which is what one sees in the typical multiplex film. The Yashraj/Johar formula is given a facelift but it’s bourgeois underpinnings are kept in place. Now one could of course argue that commercial cinema anywhere in the world is really built around confirming these sorts of bourgeois mores. However there are sometimes exceptions to this. But the more important point here is that this new Indian generation is completely unaware of its own essential conservatism or how it wants to have things both ways. All of this was reflected in the Ash-Abhishek deal. even when D2 released it was considered the ultimate emasculation of Abhishek that a rival star kissed Aishwarya. Specially in the younger male mind this became a trope for how Hrithik got the better of Abhishek int the film anyway. The idea that Abhishek might have known about it and didn’t mind it was simply too horrible to consider. But in any case the most regressive impulses came forth here. And we also see the same all the time on this very blog from certain quarters. Where all kinds of statements about stars are cast in the language of the most regressive sexual and gender definitions.

          getting back to the film I’d be surprised if this were another ‘typical’ deal in any sense. If anything the couple has frustrated its audience by doing stuff like SR or Raavan or D2 where in every case the ‘ideal couple’ is somehow subverted in the film’s narrative!

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          • It is a risky film no doubt but I am happy that abhi has taken this risk. That 65 cr budget looks like a PR talk. Anyway – Lets hope they create something like Big B – Jaya created in Abhimaan. It is a good opportunity and with a very sensitive subject – it can work wonders unless they fall prey for masalas and item nos et all……

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  3. “a middle-aged actress returning to the screen after a sabbatical, paired opposite a commercially unviable hero, directed by an unproven filmmaker”
    Agree Amy
    ‘Love is blind’ but not soooo blind !!!
    They can hav their porn movie @ home …we aren’t interested !!!
    Ps: think aishwarya should think with her brain…

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  4. And Ash is going to get back into Dhoom 2 shape for this film?! I have a bad feeling about this…. it’s sad that she is being asked to achieve such drastic weight loss. Not every woman has Deepika/ Anushka’s body type, especially after reaching middle-age and having children, and that’s OK.

    Aishwarya should aim for a more toned look, but I don’t understand why the filmmakers seem unable to appreciate the body type of a Beyonce, for instance, who is far away from size zero, but still looks fit and happens to be rocking her post-baby body.

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  5. Agree Amy…
    But a ‘fuller’ & ‘maturer’ ash has some other ‘advantages’
    😉

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  6. Will come back to this shortly Amy & Satyam…
    Just hooked onto amundens ‘cold recall’ a bit…lemme see how long..

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  7. So Mr& Mrs Smith are making a movie..ok..probably alittle more believeable since they are a ‘real life’ couple. Wont have to strain ourselves over it. Takes the guess work out of it..I guess.

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  8. maggie—but abhishrek doesn’t fit into the “mr smith” mode lol..
    Ps: thought abhishrek has turned sensible ( after d3, hny).
    But here he seems hell bent to endanger not only his own and also ash’s career together in one go!

    Anyhow unrelated–
    Reading some of amundens works and his time with the Eskimos.
    Intro–
    http://touch.artofmanliness.com/artofmanliness/#!/entry/what-the-race-to-the-south-pole-can-teach-you,502ecfce444f6789471f32c8/3

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  9. Great. Looking forward to it. As well as to Bedabrata Pain’s Masoom remake if it happens.

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  10. I am a big fan of Ashwariya Rai.It’ll a pleasure to see her on big screen again.

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  11. @NoblesseIndia:Presenting the most beautiful woman in the world… #aishwaryarai for our first cover in @Dior !! pic.twitter.com/6XtcgZjiBj

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  12. Abhishek, slowly understanding todays business. Even Aamir kan, SRK, Salman will not be able to sell movies like Mangal Pandey/ DG / Talaash, Swades, God Tussi…which made on minimum budget & promotions. These days, if you want to be a winner, quality is secondary, visibality / branding is first. look at Chennai express, avg viewer rating was above Avg movie but ended up beating 3i business. Even Krrish 3 (if it is very bad, will end up doing 125 Cr, Avg means 150 to 175 Cr, above Avg to good – 175 to 225 Cr and if it is excellent even 300 cr is possible) and Same is true for dhoom… now a days no body can guarentee the success with out big promotions. Ask any body to ban a media / promotions for a couple of years, who ever it is, will be out of the Industry with in no time. Even King Khan, even after associating with biggies like UTV etc will bring his own PR Red chillies to promote further. So after DMD, Abhishek started demanding more budget for the films, more budget means better promotion. due to his recent past record, industry was not willing to shell out such an amount on his films. but he waited patiently. Bol Bachchan happened, Industry started slowly accepting him. Post Dhoom3 and HNY, he is getting good offers on his way. Bhushan Kumar / Umesh shukla film which will go on floor in the month of october, will be made in the budget of 65 to 70 crore (he plays a musician / singer along with Rishi and Asin) , Happy Anniversary will be again made with the budget of 65 to 70 Cr. Dostana 2, Karan johar production and a sequel to a super hit movie, and there are 4-5 big projects in pipeline. Atleast couple of announcement will be made shortly. So, eventually he is learning the art of film making. this is what happens when any body rub their shoulder against marketing gurus / giants like AAmir, SRK, Rohit Shetty / Ajay devgn…..

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  13. AB tweeted that him and Aishwarya doing this movie is pre-mature. They have not ever heard the script yet so nothing is confirmed on Happy Anniversary. Thank God.

    @juniorbachchan: @MosesSapir why do people announce prematurely. Have just met them, nothing decided or confirmed. Still have to hear the script.

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  14. Good 2 see abhishreks not getting premature ejacs …
    Good for ash

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  15. Eventually happy anniversary (tentative title) will happen. Abhishek never likes to pre announce the project. Remember HNY and Umesh Shukla project. He wants to be 100% sure about the script and budget. Makers are very close to Big B and Prahlad is closed to Aish, so eventually every body will announce it at the right time. But what about Dostana Junior, u keep anouncing the dates but never happening. May be Abhi is on Dostana Jinx, never announce it until it really happens like HNY. Junior is tired of oral commitments like Dostana, Rajkumar Santoshi’s film, Businessman, Sarkar 3 (which were announced by makers long back but never happened). Abhi, one serious suggestion, put one more clause to all your producers, only you are going to announce the project!!!

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  16. Anatomy of a marriage

    Sounds like a title from some Swingers porn.

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  17. Sanjana:

    Wishing his fans for the upcoming Durga puja, actor Abhishek Bachchan on Friday revealed that “nothing has been finalised” regarding the much-talked about film ‘Happy Anniversary’, purported to bring wife Aishwarya Rai and him together on-screen.

    In Kolkata for a launch event, he cleared the air about “family friend” and celebrated adman Prahlad Kakkar’s directorial venture.

    “We have not read the script … nothing has been finalised,” he said.

    The actor will be next seen in Dhoom 3 with Katrina Kaif, Aamir Khan and Uday Chopra.

    Abhishek will reprise his role of supercop Jai Dixit while Uday will yet again amuse audiences as his sidekick Ali in the third installment of the Dhoom franchise that started in 2004.

    Unlike the previous two movies, which starred John Abraham and Hrithik Roshan as the bad guys, Dhoom 3 has gone international with a larger plot.

    Directed by Vijay Acharya, the film is scheduled for a Christmas release.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/Nothing-finalised-about-Happy-Anniversary-Abhishek-Bachchan/articleshow/23203736.cms?

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  18. However, Aishwarya’s spokesperson explained that the decision hasn’t been made yet. “Prahlad’s script is among the many scripts she has given her nod to. But it is very preliminary for the producer to jump the gun and announce it as her comeback film,” the spokesperson told Mid-Day.

    Last heard, “Chittagong” director Bedabrata Pain has also approached the power couple Abhishek and Aishwarya for a remake of classic film “Masoom” (1983). There have been no reports whether the couple has signed the project.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.in/articles/509764/20130928/aishwarya-rai-abhishek-bachchan-happy-anniversary.htm

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  19. The adman who was to make his debut as a director with the film said, “It’s a bit too early to say anything right now as nothing has been signed. We, my producer Gaurang Doshi and I, have discussed the project with her and both she and Abhishek Bachchan have liked the subject. But Aishwarya has to weigh a lot of pros and cons before she gives the nod to any project, as it’s going to be her first film post-motherhood. So, whether my film will be her first, or second or whether she will even do the project at all, is still undecided. We are going to have a tough time now, because of the reports and statements which have been coming out sporadically about the film,” said a tad disappointed Prahlad Kakkar.

    When contacted, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s spokesperson stated, “Prahlad Kakkar’s script is one of the many scripts that Aishwarya has given the nod to, but it is very premature for the producer to jump the gun and announce it as her comeback film.”

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/prahlad-unsure-of-aishwarya-abhishek-doing-happy-anniversary/1178295/

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  20. The important question which all her fans would like to know is when will the actress make a comeback? The actress, who looked beautiful in a black silk lehenga and blouse, said, “I haven’t realised time has flown by so quickly, I am busy attending to my daughter, meeting my professional commitments, I thank my fans. I am being approached by a lot of people I worked with, my directors, but as of now I cannot commit! Let’s see.” So will we see her pop the champagne and say Happy Anniversary with husband Abhishek? She says,” Well, Prahlad Kakkar was the one who launched me. He is family and I had promised I would do his first film. He had a concept of a story about a couple and Abhishek and me seem to fit it, but nothing concrete as of now, let it take shape”.

    http://movies.ndtv.com/bollywood/aishwarya-rai-bachchan-on-her-comeback-film-and-the-bliss-of-looking-after-aaradhya-430354

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  21. “Yes, I would want to do a film soon. Abhishek and I have been approached by many directors. We have okayed a couple of movies but I cannot say which one will be released first,” she said.

    “Of course, family responsibilities are lifelong commitments, but these responsibilities are not coming in the way of us doing our next film. You shall see Abhishek and me together in a film soon but I can`t say which of the two films we have Okayed will hit first.”

    http://zeenews.india.com/entertainment/celebrity/we-would-do-a-film-soon-aishwarya-rai-bachchan_144302.html

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    • looks like there might well be something to both the Masoom and Happy Anniversary stories. It might just be a question of timing and sequencing at this point.

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      • On a different note AB is shooting for the Bhootnath sequel. Why does he do this to us?!

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        • Bachchan1 to 10 Says:

          I think it will be fine, Original was a moderate success (I think). And anytime a sequel is announce or release it automatically has this added value to it. I think Bhootnath will be fine, I think it will be the fist AB sr movie to (in recent times of course) to hit the 100 cr mark (hope i am not exaggerating)

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          • Well, the original did decent business on TV but the film sucked. And sucked big time. On the sequel I don’t like saying this, but it will be turd in all probability.

            I don’t understand- why can’t he choose better projects. There are people dying to work with him. I mean he seems less interested in doing the SUdhir Mishra than a Bhootnath sequel. Weird. Fans like us are saddened when such stuff happens

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          • yeah can’t say I was a fan of Bhootnath at all!

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          • he does want to pick better projects but for some reason or other they end with problems/delay and so seems to be the case with sudhir mishra film…..as he mentioned briefly sometime back on his blog….heard the title was changed to ‘Pehle aap janab’ and script also seem to be undergoing some change…

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        • I heard from insider that Script is extremely good … otherwise BR Chopra was not in position to invest .. he is totally relying on success of Bhhotnath sequel, also it is being directed by Chillar party director which IMO was one of best movies of recent time in limited budget.

          yes, Bhhotnath was Above Average success itself ..

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  22. Bachchan1 to 10 Says:

    Fair enough Saurabh, Hope this will excite you (if true).

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/Amitabh-Bachchan-will-turn-102-years-next-year/articleshow/23899910.cms

    Everyone knows that Amitabh Bachchan, the Hindi film icon, celebrates his 71st birthday today. But we are privy to information that will blow your mind. It has come to light that he will be playing a 102-year-old man in Umesh Shukla’s next.

    The film, being produced by Bhushan Kumar, is both funny and emotional and is titled 102 Knockout.

    It is about a man who decides to break the existing world record for longevity for which he needs to live for another 17 years. To do that, he must retain his sense of wonder, curiosity and joy.

    His zest for life teaches everyone around him how to live, including his 72-year-old son played by Paresh Rawal.

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    • yeah Shukla has a multiple film deal with Bhushan Kumar.. wonder if this is true though.. would be a kind of inverse-Paa thing!

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      • It might just be true-

        “On the special occasion of Amitabh Bachchan’s birthday, Bhushan announced his new project with him. After listening the story, Mr. Bachchan has given a nod to star in T-Series’ next production being directed by Umesh Shukla. Titled 102 Not Out, the movie is about an old man who decides to break the world record of longevity. With Mr. Bachchan playing the lead role, the movie shows us how to live a life as opposed to merely existing. This Amitabh Bachchan starrer will also have Paresh Rawal is a pivotal role.

        Says Bhushan Kumar, “It’s his birthday and this is the right occasion to announce our next venture with him. The film is titled 102 Not Out which will have him share screen space with Paresh Rawal. Two brilliant actors sharing screen space will take the story to another level.”

        102 Not Out will be directed by Umesh Shukla and will be his second movie under the T-Series exclusive 5 film deal.”-

        http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/more/news/view/id/2170699

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        • thanks, will create a post on this.

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          • Satyam: How did you find Europa Report? Very keen to watch this.

            And would you write anything on Gravity. I saw this today and found this absolutely mesmerising. Demands multiple visits to the theatre. I probably liked Avatar more but this is a stunning achievement. Especially loved the scene where Bullock is curled up in a foetal position in the aircraft.

            In many ways I thought Cuaron does a Malick here- in literally breaching frontiers of all kinds. Loved the end bits as well. I don’t know I felt The New World and Gravity are long-lost brothers

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          • I loved Avatar but I liked Gravity more. Certainly the visuals. Had an exchange with someone on this elsewhere. Will try and extract that comment later.

            Europa Report is quite worthwhile. Really the opposite of Gravity. A low budget deal that has to be minimalist by necessity! But it’s well-done.

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  23. Would very, very easily take Gravity over Avatar. Not that the comparison holds for all sorts of reasons but even if we were only discussing the visuals I prefer Cuaron’s film.

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  24. According to Sonu Nigam, Abhishek and Aishwarya are in the project…

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    • yeah reading all the tea-leaves here one senses they will do this at some point, it might just be a question of timing. Aishwarya too has made it clear elsewhere that she’s coming back with Abhishek. Sometimes she talks about projects in the plural so the Masoom remake might well be on as well.

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  25. Ever since she gave birth to her daughter Aaradhya, the buzz surrounding her comeback to Hindi films has been going strong. Adman-turned-film-maker, Prahlad Kakkar has revealed that the star hasn’t even heard the script of his upcoming directorial venture, which he has planned with her husband, Abhishek Bachchan.

    However, Kakkar seems pretty confident about a positive response from her. He also isn’t worried about whether Aishwarya will make her much-talked-about comeback with his film.

    “I don’t care if my film is her comeback film or not. It’ll just be good to have her on board, but she has to lose a little more weight, as she has to play a 21-year-old, and age till 29. Her character will also be pregnant with twins,” says Kakkar, adding, “Right now, it’s difficult for her to do all that because she’s a hands-on mom. Her daughter is still very young, and it’ll be a logistical nightmare for her to travel or stay out of town for two months to shoot outdoors.”

    Kakkar also adds that he’s “almost done with the final draft of the script”. He says, “By next week, I plan to narrate it to the cast. I am very confident that Aishwarya will like it and approve of it because it is a damn good script. All an actor wants is a good script.”

    The 63-year-old’s film apparently deals with issues involved in a marriage, and is expected to be shot in South Africa. –

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/aishwarya-rai-has-to-lose-a-little-more-weight-prahlad-kakkar/article1-1191105.aspx#sthash.3B0zAa33.dpuf

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  26. In a recent interview, Sushmita confirmed that she and Ash will soon be seen in their first ever film together. The actor said, “Looks like she (Aishwarya) and I will star together in the film. It’s a matter of time before the film starts rolling. I look forward to it.”

    http://www.bollywoodlife.com/news-gossip/sushmita-sen-i-look-forward-to-my-film-with-aishwarya-rai-bachchan/

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