Vidya Balan is all charged up for a hat-trick of collaboration with producer Vikram Malhotra. The National Award-winning actress who featured in Malhotra's Shakuntala Devi: The Human Computer last year is next doing the producer's Sherni that sees her playing a forest officer searching for her life's true calling while working to maintain a peaceful balance between humanity and the animal kingdom. And while the Amit Masurkar-directed human drama is set to stream soon on Amazon Prime Video as a direct-to-web release, Peepingmoon.com has learned that Vidya has signed Malhotra's next production as well, marking their third back-to-back collaboration.
Sources close to the development have informed us that Vidya Balan will headline Vikram Malhotra-led Abundantia Entertainment's next evocative and quirky comedy-drama that will be directed by her Tumhari Sulu fame Suresh Triveni. The yet-untitled film will also star veteran actress Shefali Shah in a pivotal role, bringing the two powerhouses of talent together for the very first time. Although the plot and character details of the project are not known yet, we heard the film is set in Bombay and talks about the social and economic contrast. Vidya and Shefali are said to have signed the film and will begin shooting from July this year.
"It's not surprising to see Suresh Triveni choosing Vidya Balan for his second directorial as well. Suresh is a die-hard fan of the actress and shares a special connection with her that goes back several years. Vidya was the first prominent Bollywood star the ad filmmaker had shot with when he came to Mumbai in 2004. After realizing the dream of working with her 13 years later with his directorial debut Tumhari Sulu in 2017, Suresh wanted to work with Vidya again and pitched this specific script that she immensely liked. Vikram Malhotra backing the film was yet another reason everything fell into place so quickly," the source told us.
The film is currently in pre-production and will get off the ground once the shooting restrictions are lifted in Mumbai. The Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah starrer marks Suresh Triveni's first project with Abundantia Entertainment out of his three-project deal with the company that also includes an emotional thriller feature film and a web series where he will serve as a creative director. Meanwhile, Vidya Balan, as we exclusively revealed a few weeks back, is also in talks with Tumhari Sulu producers Tanuj Garg and Atul Kasbekar for a realistic slice-of-life drama. The Paa actress is said to have given her verbal nod to that project but hasn't signed it yet. Whereas Shefali Shah has several projects such as Alia Bhatt's Darlings and Ayushmann Khurrana's Doctor G lined up to go on floors as soon as the situation improves. She was shooting for a Disney+Hotstar show when the nationwide lockdown was announced.