After 'Raavan' and 'Guru', Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is all set to collaborate again with the maverick filmmaker Mani Ratnam for the upcoming mega-budget period drama 'Ponniyin Selvan.' The actor is likely to be seen playing dual roles in the highly anticipated project, according to the latest buzz.
Reportedly, she will portray Nandini - wife of Chola Kingdom's Periya Pazhuvettaraiyarr (a role played by Telugu actor Mohan Babu) and Nandini's mother - Mandakini Devi's part, who was a mute queen. Though the primary focus will be on Nandini's life. Aishwarya is said to be excited about the double roles and immediately jumped at the opportunity when she was offered the film.
Earlier a source close to the film said, “Karthi, Vikram and Jayam Ravi have been finalised to play the leads. Karthi and Jayam Ravi will start shooting for their portions from the first week of December while Vikram will complete a couple of films before joining the sets. The other cast and crew will be finalised in coming months and an official announcement will be made.” Even Vikram recently confirmed he’s part of the project. At a press interaction ahead of 'Kadaram Kondan’s' release, Vikram said: “I am part of Mani sir’s next, and will be shooting for the project from early next year.” Vikram and Mani Ratnam have previously worked together in 'Aayutha Ezhuthu' and 'Raavanan.' This will be the third time they’ll join forces for a project.
Lyca Productions is bankrolling the project on a lavish scale. The principal shooting will begin from next year. The makers are yet to officially announce the cast and crew. It is being speculated that the film also stars Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Amitabh Bachchan, Anushka Shetty, Keerthy Suresh, Aishwarya Lekshmi and Amala Paul among others.
The pre-production work on the film has already commenced. The makers are in the process of erecting huge sets to shoot crucial portions of the film. The film tells the story of Arulmozhivarman, one of the kings of the Chola dynasty during the 10th and 11th centuries. Mani Ratnam has been planning to adapt Ponniyin Selvan as a film since many years. He had planned to make the film nearly a decade ago with actors Vijay and Mahesh Babu. The project almost went on the floors but was eventually shelved for unknown reasons.