Shekhar Kapur’s new film Paani will have Hrithik Roshan in the lead.
The director is also reportedly in negotiations with Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) and Twilight star Kirsten Stewart for important roles in the film. Hrithik Roshan’s Kites movie is now nearing release.
Hrithik Roshan’s wife Suzanne recently tweeted that her husband had been signed on for Paani. “H has signed Paani…” she wrote on the micro-blogging site.
Paani is reported to be a modern take on Romeo and Juliet.
Speaking about what led to Paani, Shekhar Kapur, who has won international acclaim for Bandit Queen, Elizabeth, Elizabeth: the Golden Age and New York, I Love You, said he was in a tony Mumbai neighborhood when he was struck by an irony – his friend showered for half an hour in his swanky apartment on the 30th floor while the slums just below his apartment building had no water.
The inequity in the distribution of the natural resource most necessary for human survival set the director thinking and led to the development of the story.
After romancing Barbara Mori in Kites (scheduled to release May 21), this will be Hrithik Roshan’s second film with a foreign actress.
Hrithik Roshan will play the part of a poor person living in the seedier parts of Mumbai sometime in the future. He will meet the wealthy Kirsten Stewart in the tony section of the megacity and they’ll fall in love.
Reports said Shekhar Kapur had his eyes on someone fair, delicate and pretty to play the new-age Juliet, and that Kirsten Stewart fit the bill perfectly.
Shekhar Kapur has been cautious about revealing casting details. He said he had been accused of talking about projects that never happen. But, he said, Paani is a film that I’m definitely making, and in 2010.
He dismissed reports that Kristin Stewart was already on board for Paani. He said he and the Twilight star had had just one conversation. “She still needs to read the script. People are jumping to conclusions,” Shekhar Kapur posted on his Twitter page.
A spokesperson for Kirsten Stewart has also denied the actress’ association with Paani.
Reprising her role of Bella Stewart, Kirsten Stewart will be seen with heart-throb Robert Pattinson in Eclipse, the third instalment of the Twilight series in June 2010.
This year, Shekhar Kapur is also teaming up Hollywood superstar Julia Roberts to direct a film on famed English explorer George Mallory. The director will helm Mallory, which will be produced by Julia Roberts’ Red Om Films and Kevin Townsend’s Science+Fiction.
George Mallory – remembered for having said “Because it’s there” when asked “Why do you want to climb Mt Everest? – embarked on the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the 1920s. On his third expedition, George Mallory disappeared with his climbing partner Andrew Irvine in 1924 when they were 800 feet from the summit before the clouds closed in.
Mallory, set in post-World War I England, chronicles Mallory’s attempts to scale Mount Everest and the toll the obsession for the mountain takes on his marriage.
No decisions on casting have been taken yet, but Shekhar Kapur said he is very excited to be working on this “fantastic story.”