July 19, 2010 02:18:41 PM IST Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Trade News Network
Is Hrithik Roshan confirmed as the lead protagonist in Shekhar Kapur's futuristic saga PAANI? Or is he not? This has been the question making the rounds of the industry circles ever since his last venture KITES got tangled at the box office. Since no official confirmation has come in from either the director or the actor, there is no absolute certainty around the two joining hands for this multi million dollar film which would be shot in India.
When contacted, Sidhartha Jain, CEO with iROCK and Executive Producer with Shekhar Kapur on PAANI, also chose to keep silent around the entire 'issue'.
"As of now, we are not commenting on the casting of the film", he says, "For any big high profile project like this, there are always quite a few gossips that float around. However, all of this would be settled in due course of time."
To make matters worse, the biggest setback for Hrithik came from the mainstream international release of the 'Remix' version of KITES. After the 'desi version' didn't make any impact in India, the edited version wasn't any better as there were absolutely no takers. This was heart breaking for the makers because 'firang' audience was indeed the target audience here if English and Spanish treatment was any indication. Naturally, the failure of both the versions meant that for the English speaking audience, Hrithik was still not the most viable option that a Hollywood film maker could have contemplated.
"This is the reason why a question is being raised again around whether Hrithik stays on to be the best choice for PAANI," says a trade follower, "Yes, he has the fan following, charisma and most importantly goodwill in the industry. None of that has been lost even after KITES. In fact, he still has a great market hold, as seen from the terrific opening that the film took. However, as far as his stint with hardcore international cinema like PAANI is concerned, it is still going to be a wait and watch situation."
Well, we indeed are waiting to catch hold of the facts once Shekhar Kapur decides to unveil the film's casting.