Ben Kingsley, famous for his Oscar-winning portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi, is reaching deeper into the country’s history with a new role as the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
Kingsley will star as Shah Jahan in Taj, 27 years after his award-winning performance in Gandhi. Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will play Mumtaz Mahal in the $25-30 million production, the British actor’s production company, SBK Pictures, said in a statement.
“With my passion for India and the Taj Mahal now becoming one of the Seven Wonders of the World, I am compelled to ask ‘why’ and ’how’ this scream of grief frozen in marble came into being,” Kingsley said in the statement.
The company said it is recruiting a director for the script penned by British writer David Ashton and is scheduled to meet with Indian investors later this month. SBK Pictures said shooting will start in mid-to late 2010.