For the last two years, Kangana Ranaut has been prepping for Ketan Mehta's Rani Lakshmi Bai biopic. On her 30th birthday on Thursday, she will slip into the warrior queen's avatar and face the camera, but for another filmmaker.
Kangana will shoot for the first poster of Manikarnika, a film on Jhansi Ki Rani, to be helmed by noted Telugu director Krish (of Akshay Kumar-starrer Gabbar Is Back fame).
Kangana learning horse riding
The story has been penned by KV Vijayendra Prasad, writer of Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Baahubali, who happens to be filmmaker SS Rajamouli's father. Manikarnika is the birth name of Rani Lakshmi Bai.
An insider says, "The new film will be helmed by a fresh team. A top studio, too, has agreed to back the venture, which is envisioned as an action-packed, feisty film. It is the biopic of an ordinary girl, who when faced with tough times, discovered the warrior in her. The film will go on floors in mid-May."
Rani Lakshmi Bai
Meanwhile, there's no word on Ketan's Lakshmi Bai film, for which he had brought an international crew on board. "Ketan was insistent that his movie be made in English for an international audience, like Gurinder Chadha's The Viceroy House, but those working on the film felt it won't go with the ethos of the story," a source points out.
A British writer, along with Kangana, had written the biopic's script. "The actress and the filmmaker couldn't find common ground on the language factor, leaving the project in a limbo," informs the source.
Calls to Kangana, Ketan and CEO of his production company, Anish Mehta, went unanswered.