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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ben Kingsley to play Shah Jahan to Ash's Mumtaz Mahal

For long now Aishwarya Rai has been destined to play the eternally extolled object of undying love.

Earlier she was to star as Mumtaz Mahal in a film to be produced by Bharat Bala. Nothing has been heard of the project since then. But now Ben Kingsley is all set to play Shah Jahan opposite Ash’s Mumtaz Mahal. The epic film to be produced by Sir Ben's company ‘SBK Pictures’ will be shot in Agra and Fatehpur Sikri in the middle of 2008. 

Confirming this stunning historical creative union, Ben Kingsley spoke to me from London. "It's a project on the building of the Taj Mahal. Aishwarya and I spoke about it while we were shooting The Last Legion last year. She very generously agreed to do the project with me. Aishwarya and I will be playing Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. My production company is right now working with a screenwriter. I've very clear ideas about my approach to this subject. The romance will also include Shah Jahan's abject isolation for years in a prison cell." 

When I tell him people will forget Gandhi after they see him play Shah Jahan, Sir Ben quips. "I hope not! Maybe for a little while they will. But I hope I continue to be remembered by Gandhi. We want to beat the monsoons when we shoot next year. I've always been very attached to India and its people. I don't get to visit the country as often as I'd like to. This is my opportunity to do so." 

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