The new Bobby

After Love Breakups Zindagi, Dia Mirza and her beau Sahil Sangha have signed Vidya Balan for their next film Bobby Jasoos. To be produced under their banner Born Free Entertainment, Dia says the idea came from the co-writer of LBZ, Sanyuktha Chawla. “She came up with this one-line idea of a lady detective during the shoot of LBZ and I liked it. As we got into discussion I discovered that actually it is her husband Samar Shaikh’s idea and he wants to direct it. We worked for two years and have developed a layered narrative to tell the audience.” She is surprised that along the way so many films on detectives have been announced. “Thank god, nobody thought of a lady detective!” These days any producer who has a female-oriented script, he or she knocks at the door of Vidya Balan. “She has earned that right,” says Dia, adding it takes guts to accept the idea of the newcomer. The film is going on floors this November. As for her shift from acting to production, Dia says, “As you know there are not many compelling parts for female actors in the industry. I love the process of filmmaking. So I thought why not give it a try. Our first film was noticed by the critics and I hope with Bobby Jasoos we will bring in the numbers as well.”

Age on his side

Shahid Kapur was in Delhi recently to promote his latest flick Phata Poster Nikla Hero and reflected on the memories of the city. “My grandparents were journalists with the Russian magazine Sputnik. Their job was to translate Urdu articles. So my language got refined from a very young age. Then I used to accompany my mother (Neelima Azim), who is also an accomplished Kathak dancer. So it was a very literary and cultured start.” Unperturbed by a series of flops, Shahid says age is on his side. “When I started producers used to find it difficult to find actresses to match my age. In fact Kumar Taurani, who launched me, asked me to wait for some time. Now the age is helping me to fight back and recover the lost ground. Otherwise, not many actors can afford to give two years to a film,” says Shahid in reference to Mausam. The film failed and Shahid puts his father’s (director Pankaj Kapur) too much intimacy with the subject as one of the reasons for the film’s failure. “He became overprotective of the film. If he had got a few more months to look at the film dispassionately, he would have been able to edit it in a better way. We could sense the trouble in the second half but at that time he was in no mood to dissect his labour of love. He would compare cutting a scene with cutting his arm.” In a mood to reinvent himself as a typical Hindi film hero, Shahid will soon be seen in Rambo Rajkumar. “Then I am looking forward to Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of “Hamlet”. It will be called Hyder and will be shot in Kashmir. That’s all I can say now.” Is he shaving his head for the role? For now mum is the word!

Captain’s innings

Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks will soon be seen playing the titular role in Sony’s upcoming adventure drama Captain Phillips. Based on the true incident of the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates in 2009, the movie is being talked about as Hanks’ third shot at the Oscars for his portrayal of the real life Captain Richard Phillips. Hanks, who is fascinated by adaptations of real life happenings to the silver screen, says, “I’m fascinated constantly by non-fiction entertainment. I’m the type of guy that reads the newspaper and sees a story that really happened and says, ‘Well, this is better than most movies.’” Commenting on his reasons to take up the movie, Hanks adds, “We’ve seen quite a few fictionalised versions of what can happen when bad guys try to take over a ship or a plane, but because this is a real event, it presents one of the biggest challenges a filmmaker can face, which is: what really happened and how do we make that so gripping that it warrants holding a place in commercial entertainment?”

Directed by Paul Greengrass, the biopic is based on the memoirs of Captain Richard Phillips, who was at the helm of the ship and was taken hostage by the pirates. The film is releasing in India on 18th October.

Family connection

Dia is not the only one. Known for their family dramas, Rajshri Productions are now coming up with a suspense-adventure Samrat & Co. The last time the banner did something similar was when it backed Mahendra Sandhu’s Agent Vinod. Directed by Kaushik Ghatak, the film has Rajeev Khandelwal and Madalsa in lead roles. A known face in the South, Madalsa is the daughter of Sheela Sharma. In the 90s, Sheela was a familiar face on television and interestingly she started her career with Rajshri’s Nadiya Ke Paar.