Huma Qureshi, not Vidya Balan, to star opposite Rajinikanth in Pa Ranjith's next
Sridevi, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Soankshi Sinha and Radhika Apte - These are some Hindi film beauties who have shared the screen space with Tamil superstar Rajinikanth. Now, it is confirmed that Huma Qureshi will be cast opposite the superstar.
It was earlier reported that Vidya Balan had been approached to star opposite Rajinikanth in Pa Ranjith's next. Balan was reportedly also approached for KS Ravikumar's 2014 action film Lingaa and Ranjith's 2016 gangster flick Kabali. The third time was not a charm either as India Today reports that she has turned down the film owing to date issues.
Now, Pune Mirror reports that the makers have approached Qureshi for the role opposite Rajinikanth. She is known for her nuanced performances in Anurag Kashyap's 2012 crime drama Gangs of Wasseypur, Abhishek Chaubey's 2014 black comedy Dedh Ishqiya and Subhash Kapoor's courtroom drama Jolly LLB 2 that released earlier this year.
She is currently gearing up for Prawaal Raman's psychological horror film Dobara - See Your Evil and Gurinder Chadha's period drama Viceroy's House. If she gives a nod to Ranjith's film, it will be her first foray into Tamil cinema.
The report by Pune Mirror states that Rajinikanth will begin shooting for Ranjith's directorial from 28 May. The film will be produced by his daughter Aishwarya Rajinikanth and her husband-actor Dhanush's home production banner Wunderbar Films.
It was earlier reported that the film will revolve around the life of notorious underworld giant Haji Mastan or better known as Sultan Mirza. However, the makers rubbished that rumour through a statement that read, "The film is not based on the life of Haji Mastan. It's not even a biopic. It's just a fictional story set in Mumbai."
This statement came after Mastan's son Sundar Shaekhar sent a legal notice to Rajinikanth for projecting his father as "a smuggler and don".
(With inputs from agencies)