Saif walks out of Zoya Akhtar's debut film
Not so long ago, Zoya Akhtar had exclaimed, “Why Tabu? Tabu is excellent, that’s why! Frankly, you should ask Tabu why she has agreed to work with a nobody like me in my debut film. Tabu is kickass! I am starting the film in February 2005.”
Javed Akhtar’s daughter was tremendously excited about her debut directorial venture Luck By Chance, to be produced by Excel Entertainment.
But alas! Zoya has been forced to change tracks. Luck By Chance is not happening. At least not for another year. Zoya reveals, “Luck By Chance is not going on the floors for some time. It has been put on the backburner as I had a lot of difficulty getting the male actor of my choice.
At that point in time, I happened to speak to Mira Nair whom I know because I worked with her on Kamasutra. Nair expressed a keen interest and took away the script. Now, Excel Entertainment and Mira Nair will produce Luck By Chance jointly.”
The inside story goes that Saif Ali Khan, who was to play the lead, walked out due to the small pay cheque he received. Farhan Akhtar wanted Saif to pay back the favour of casting him in Dil Chahta Hai and bringing him back into business. Saif didn’t agree and the deal fell through.
“Luck By Chance will start only after I complete another film with Excel Entertainment, the one I started writing after Nair volunteered to raise funding for Luck By Chance. I will start shooting for the new one only early next year,” Zoya points out.
Zoya is ready with the second draft of her new film and refuses to divulge details. “All I can tell you is that it will be shot entirely in Mumbai and my brother Farhan has written the dialogues. Ritesh Sidhwani (Excel Entertainment) wants to announce the project in April or May.
Please don’t force me to say which actors I am talking to. If certain actors don’t materialise, it will be another embarrassment for me!” she says.
Zoya also had lots of problems getting an actress to play the female lead, before she zeroed in on Tabu. Her first choice was Madhuri Dixit, but the negotiations fell through. According to sources, Zoya then approached Kajol and Karisma Kapoor.
Luck By Chance was meant to be an insider’s look at Bollywood. Zoya promises, “The script will remain the same whenever I make it. Tabu will still be doing it. Farhan will also be playing a cameo as I had announced earlier.”
Ritesh Sidhwani confirms that he is doing a different film with Zoya and not Luck By Chance at the moment. “We are also going to announce two more films in April or May. One will be directed by Farhan Akhtar, while the other will be directed by a new director,” he says.
The buzz is, Farhan Akhtar’s film will be titled Don and star Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the lead. The grapevine gets juicier, suggesting that Don is inspired from the 1978 Don, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman.
“It is definitely not a remake. Don is available on your television set every now and then. If I was to make a duplicate, what would be the novelty?” Sidhwani argues.