Shekhar Kapur’s ‘Paani’: Hrithik Roshan Out, Sushant Singh Rajput In

Shekhar Kapur's long-gestating 'Paani' seems to finally be going ahead. But Hrithik Roshan, who was long considered for the role, has been replaced with Yashraj Films' new blue-eyed boy, Sushant Singh Rajput.


MUMBAI: Shekhar Kapur’s last feature length film was in 2007 with ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’. But he has been writing ‘Paani’ since before that. He has always had Hrithik Roshan in mind to play the lead in the film. Shekhar Kapur said, “Years ago, as I sat down to write ‘Paani’, I had one image in mind to play the male lead. Hrithik Roshan.”

And now the movie is finally being made with Aditya Chopra and Yashraj Films as the producer and their new blue-eyed boy Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead role.

Sushant Singh Rajput hit it big earlier this year with ‘Kai Po Che’ and has since then appeared in Yashraj Films’ ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’. He also has a film with ‘3 Idiots’ director Rajkumar Hirani in ‘Peekay’ and with Dibakar Banerjee in ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’, the latter of which is also a Yashraj production.

Shekhar Kapur talked about the actor, “Sushant Singh Rajput is one of the most inspiring young actors to emerge out of India. It’s going to be an exciting director-actor collaboration with him on ‘Paani’.”

Meanwhile, Shekhar Kapur spoke about why he could no longer cast Hrithik Roshan in the lead role. “As the years passed, the script kept evolving. And Hrithik changed too. He went from being a young man uncertain of himself, a young man looking for his identity in this world, with no understanding of the power, the rebellion inside him that would change his life.”

This leads us to believe that Shekhar Kapur wanted Hrithik Roshan to play a raw, young character, unsure of himself.

With regard to the story, the movie ‘Paani’ will be set in a near future where water is owned by international corporations and they use thirst as a “weapon of control”, because of which wars over water have broken out. It may seem like a thriller but will heavily feature a love story that sets a change in motion. Sushant Singh Rajput will play the male half in this love story now. He iwll be joined by a leading female actress from the west.

The film will have a strong Indian and Western cast, and that won’t be difficult for Shekhar Kapur whose film ‘Elizabeth’ has landed an Oscar nomination while also giving its actress Cate Blanchett an Oscar nomination for the same film.

With music by AR Rahman and to be shot in India and overseas as well, the film goes on floor in mid-2014 for a probable 2015 release.

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