Salman Khan to play Priyanka Chopra's husband
Pritish Nandy Communications has finalised the star cast for Saheb Bibi Aur Ghulam, to be directed by Rituparno Ghosh.
While Priyanka Chopra plays chhoti malkin (Meena Kumari’s role in the 1962 original, directed by Abrar Alvi), Salman Khan will play Rehman’s role of her husband, chhote babu, while John Abraham will play Guru Dutt’s character of Bhootnath.
John or Saif?
Says Pritish Nandy, “We have almost finalised John, but will take a final call soon.” It is said that Saif Ali Khan was also approached for the part, but is in two minds about doing a historical again, so soon after Parineeta.
John is very interested in the part. Says Rangita Nandy, creative director, PNC, “He will add a certain twist and charm to the character.”
Salman wanted it bad
Wasn’t Sanjay Dutt the original choice for the role of chhote babu? “Yes,” says Rangita, “talks were on, but Salman wanted to do this role. Naturally Sanju, who is very close to us, will be a part of the film.”
This will be Priyanka’s second project with Salman after Rumi Jaffrey’s project produced by Afzal Khan.
Aishwarya Rai was supposed to play chhoti bahu, but date problems prevented her from doing the role, which went to Priyanka.
Who will play Jaba?
Says a PNC source, “The role of Jaba (Waheeda Rehman in the original) is yet to be decided.
There are three contenders for the role – Vidya Balan, Kareena Kapoor and Esha Deol. Kareena seems to have some date problems so we might have to choose between Esha and Vidya.”
Deepa Mehta, who was to direct earlier, opted out and was replaced by Rituparno Ghosh. “He will be coming next week to finalise the project,” says Rangita. Saheb Bibi Aur Ghulam is set to roll in 2005-end.