Rajkumar Santoshi to helm upcoming film for Aanand L Rai's production house

Updated: Feb 03, 2018, 11:02 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

After his ambitious film on Battle of Saragarhi fails to kick off, '90s top filmmaker to helm drama for Aanand L Rai's production house

Rajkumar Santoshi
Rajkumar Santoshi

Plagued with budget issues, Rajkumar Santoshi's ambitious film based on the Battle of Saragarhi failed to take off. After a year of brooding over its ill-fate, the filmmaker has decided to forego his labour of love and set his sights on a new project. mid-day has learnt that Santoshi has been signed on by Aanand L Rai to helm a drama. An insider reveals, "Aanand sir had the outline of a human drama in mind and he couldn't think of anyone better than Santoshi to direct it. He thought it was a story right up Santoshi's alley, and one can draw parallels between the storyline and his earlier films like Damini [1993] or Ghayal [1990]. He gave Santoshi a call and a meeting later, the filmmaker was on board."

With Santoshi having given a nod to the film, the team is busy developing the script. "It's too early to look at the cast. Once the script is ready, Aanand sir and Santoshi will sit down to discuss the stars they'd like to rope in," adds the source. The film is expected to go on floors later this year and release by mid-2019.

Aanand L Rai
Aanand L Rai

This marks Santoshi's return to direction after five long years since Phata Poster Nikhla Hero (2013). After the release of the Shahid Kapoor-starrer, the director had begun work on the Battle of Saragarhi project. In 2016, there was also talk of him helming Atul Agnihotri's production with Salman Khan in the lead. However, the superstar was reportedly unhappy with Santoshi's script and the two parted ways professionally. Confirming his collaboration with Santoshi, Rai told mid-day, "I have grown watching Rajji's films and now, working with him is an honour." Santoshi texted saying, "Aanand and I and have a great connect and mutual admiration for each other's work. I am happy to take this ambitious project forward with him."

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