Suneel Darshan's plans his next films

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
7/9/2004 12:00:00 AM
Download Priyanka Chopra's WallpapersIt has been a while since producer-director Suneel Darshan  launched a new film but now he has two in his hand -- one as producer and the other as director.

While his latest venture with Bollywood's hottest costume designer Manish Malhotra who turns director for him has generated loads of excitement, he also launched his next film as director called "Barsaat".

Talk of Manish turning director for Suneel's production house has been on for a while. The designer has become the most feted wooed, wined and dined wannabe director in Mumbai after he revealed his plans to wield the megaphone.

Ask him about the coveted cast of his young musical and Manish grows mysterious. "We haven't got to that stage as yet. But yes, I've just finished writing my script. It now needs some fine-tuning. We start shooting in November."

Though both Manish and Suneel are tight-lipped about the much-discussed cast, it's unofficially finalised.

The names on the short list are the Suneel favourite Akshay Kumar, Vivek Oberoi and Hrithik Roshan who's considering the offer (if only he'd get less choosy). A fourth role in the male lead requires a younger, more innocent face.

Among the leading ladies, Kareena Kapoor and Preity Zinta are the strongest contenders though neither has been finalised.

Meanwhile, Suneel has finally launched his next directorial venture.

Titled "Barsaat", it stars Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra.

Download Akshay Kumar's WallpapersLast week, after the launch, Akshay and Priyanka shot a song together. The other leading lady (said to be playing a role akin to Reena Roy in the 1980s musical "Aasha") is being finalised.

Suneel flew to meet Aishwarya Rai in Goa where she's currently shooting for debutant Leena Bajaj's "Shabd" for Pritish Nandy Communications.

Ms Rai will make up her mind as soon as she returns to Mumbai. The other leading ladies in the reckoning are Kareena Kapoor and Lara Dutta.

Akshay points out a corny coincidence.

"My wife Tina made her debut with a film called 'Barsaat' and now I'm doing a film by that name. I'm also doing 'Mere Jeevan Saathi' with Suneel which is one of my father-in-law's best known films."

Akshay dismisses plans to do a raunchy comedy called "Garam Masala" based on John Rich's 1965 Hollywood film "Boeing Boeing".

"First of all there's no definite plan for the film. The project is still at a very early stage. Dates and other formalities are a long way from being worked out. And please, if I ever decide to do the film the title will have to be changed. I don't want to be in a film called 'Garam Masala'," Akshay shudders.