Bol Bollywood Bol 2: Samantha in talks for Taapsee-produced thriller drama; Alia-Priyanka-Katrina's Jee Le Zaraa to be shot across Rajasthan

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One Break Leads to Another for Samantha!

It’s ironical. Samantha Ruth Prabhu’s marriage break-up seems to have become her big break in Bollywood. The South Indian actress wants to start afresh in her career and has big Bollywood plans. After earning loads of accolades and several awards for her portrayal as the rebel Raji in Raj & DK’s second season of the espionage thriller series The Family Man, Samantha has been on the radar of many Hindi filmmakers. The U-Turn actress has reportedly been offered at least five Hindi projects which include a light-hearted film by a big banner and a web series that, if it happens, will stream on Amazon Prime Video. Bollywood’s breakaway artiste Taapsee Pannu, who recently announced her production company Outsiders Films, has also approached Samantha with a female-led thriller drama.

Although Samantha hasn’t yet officially signed any project to mark her big Bollywood feature debut, it’s just a matter of time before she locks and announces one. She is choosing the best from the lot and it must be exciting enough for her to take time off from her career down South. Industry sources have revealed that she is also looking for a flat in Mumbai to focus on her Bollywood career. She is not permanently moving though and will continue to juggle between Mumbai and Hyderabad. Samantha will have to spend considerable time in the city for her Hindi projects and is hence looking for a residence that can be her permanent address in Mumbai.


 

Ab Ki Baar, Rajasthan

Guess where Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt are going for their road trip? We heard Farhan Akhtar has planned his recently announced directorial Jee Le Zaraa — a slice-of-life, friendship drama that follows three women on the road — in culturally rich Rajasthan. The film, billed as a follow-up of sorts to Farhan’s Dil Chahta Hai and Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, will be shot across Rajasthan from September 2022. The locations will be fixed early next year once Farhan is done with his role in Ashutosh Gowariker’s mainstream actioner Pukar that goes on floors next month.

Fun Fact: Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt will be “married women” by the time they start shooting for Jee Le Zaraa as both actresses are set to tie the knot this December with their rumoured boyfriends Vicky Kaushal and Ranbir Kapoor respectively.

Jungle Jungle Baat Chali Hai

After the National Award-winning Newton, and this year’s critically acclaimed Sherni, filmmaker Amit Masurkar has now diverted his attention to a web series. He is next directing a six-part series for the streaming giant Amazon Prime Video and preparation for that has been going on for months. The makers are currently finalizing the star cast and will begin its production in December. Aastha Tiku who wrote Sherni has written this yet-untitled show as well.

However, Masurkar’s new series will not be set in the jungles which have been the backdrop of his previous two films. Unlike Rajkummar Rao’s Newton which was set in a Naxal-controlled town in the insurgency-ridden jungles of Chhattisgarh and Vidya Balan’s Sherni which was more of an attempt to raise awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation, this Amazon Prime series is going to be set in the city of Mumbai.

Kabhi Haan, Kabhi Naa

Dinesh Vijan has signed Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan for his next production that will be directed by Laxman Utekar. The Luka Chuppi and Mimi director has begun pre-production and will kick off shooting on November 15 in Madhya Pradesh. However, Vicky was not the first choice for this romantic-comedy set in the backdrop of the Indian government’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana program. Sources say Ayushmann Khurrana was originally supposed to play the lead alongside Sara and they were offered this film together last year. However, the pandemic changed Ayushmann’s priorities. He’s lately been trying to bring diversity in his film portfolio with a lineup that includes films completely different from the usual Ayushmann Khurrana offerings.

When the makers revived the project post the pandemic and didn’t hear back from him, Dinesh Vijan and Laxman Utekar pitched it to Vicky whose date diaries were suddenly left empty due to the indefinite postponement of Aditya Dhar’s The Immortal Ashwatthama. Vicky instantly came on board and has reportedly been paid a good, double-digit fee that’s reasonably more than his regular market price.

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