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Shaad Ali to direct Bachchan
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Having left "Saathiya" and its success behind, Shaad Ali is heavily into the pre-production plans of his next film, which will star none other than Amitabh Bachchan.
Curiously entitled "Bunty Aur Babli", this "Bonny & Clyde"-style caper will star Abhishek Bacchan and Rani Mukherjee as two strangers on the run in the dusty backwaters of Uttar Pradesh.
No bumper prizes for guessing who has just been signed to play the cop assigned to hunt down the two desperados - Amitabh Bachchan.
The superstar has promised himself that he won't do any more insubstantial roles "because the audience feels cheated", he says.
"And I've had not just non-specialised viewers but also experts from within the entertainment industry expressing unhappiness with the length of my role in some recent films."
Keeping in view his new strictures, Bachchan took his time to say yes to Ali. Having gone through the script thoroughly, he has agreed to play the pivotal role of the cop in "Bunty Aur Babli".
The role is somewhat akin to that of Tom Hanks in "Catch Me If You Can", though both Bachchan and his excited director deny any similarities.
"It has always been my dream to direct Bachchan. In fact, I came into the industry so I could one day have the privilege of directing him," gushes Ali, sounding like dozens of his contemporaries from Farhan Akhtar to Sujoy Ghosh who can't believe they're getting the golden chance of directing India's most-wanted star so early in their career.
"Many directors have to wait all their lives. I got the chance to direct him in my second film!" gushes Ali.
"Shaad is like family," says Bachchan fondly. "He and Abhishek are very close friends. He's a wonderful boy. We were all together in Morocco and Singapore. He's great fun. And it'll be a pleasure to be directed by him.
"I've had a meeting with Aditya Chopra (the producer) and we're looking into how to treat my character."
Interestingly, while father and son play their real-life roles in Raj Santoshi's "Ranveer", they're in no way related in "Bunty Aur Babli".
"And that's what makes it challenging and exciting for me," enthuses Ali.