Hrithik Roshan might play Hamlet

Shakespeare is a revered figure among literature students, but of late, it seems that many of our Bollywood directors also seem quite fixated with Shakespeare and his works. After Vishal Bharadwaj’s Maqbool, based on Macbeth, managed to capture the attention of Indian audiences, his next film tentatively titled Omkara is based on Othello. Next in line to join the line of Shakespeareans, is director Onir. The director wants to do a film inspired by Hamlet.
Director Onir says, “Hamlet is one of my favourite Shakespearean plays. I studied it in depth when I was a student of literature.” This project will involve producers Ambika Hinduja and Dinesh Vijan of Serendipity Films. Bhavani Iyer, writer of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black will be enlisted to write the script. Onir wants to base his Hamlet in contemporary urban India, perhaps in Mumbai or Delhi and he wants a modern family to capture the essence of this drama. Onir claims, “The script will need lots of work and development, but I have the idea of fusing magic realism with Shakespeare’s idiom.” Onir will not write the script himself but he will definitely be closely involved in it.

When the director was asked which actors would play the characters of Hamlet, Polonius and Ophelia, he said, “I need fantastic actors with the right faces. Like I need an Ophelia with innocence and I am completely stumped on any ideas for her. But I would love Hrithik Roshan to play the part of Hamlet or maybe Siddharth from Rang De Basanti. While the scripting of the film is in its final stage, the director wants Madhuri or Sridevi to play the role of the queen (Hamlet’s mother). “I will be approaching Madhuri and Sridevi to play the role. The character of the queen is very complex and these were the only two actors who came to my mind. Both of them are extremely talented. These two actors will really do justice to the role and reflect the inner turmoil the character undergoes,” said Onir.

Hamlet is the story of the Prince of Denmark, haunted by the murder of his father the King and his mother’s infidelity. It is a classic tragedy.

Meanwhile, Vishal Bharadwaj is currently shooting for his Shakespeare’s Othello based film, which was tentatively titled ‘Omkara’. However his producers now wish to title the film ‘Issaq’ (pronounced ‘ishq’ in Uttar Pradesh), as they feel Omkara has several limitations. Also, a special promo of the film will be showcased to the distributors and media at the Cannes. Director Vishal clarifies, “We are preparing a 10 minute show reel for Cannes. Kishore Lulla, the overseas distributor of the film is also putting up a stall there, highlighting his forthcoming acquisitions for the overseas territory. The principal cast of the film will participate in a media briefing at Cannes.”

‘Issaq’ will star Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor and Bipasha Basu.