* After working together in Asoka, Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor are set to team up again for Ra One – a movie that has Khan playing the role of a super hero out to save mankind. Khan and Kapoor were meant to feature in the blockbuster Kal Ho Na Ho, but the actress was replaced with Preity Zinta by filmmaker Karan Johar when she demanded more money.
* Kareena Kapoor cannot stop raving about her co-star Kajol, whom she describes as one of the greatest actresses of Indian cinema. The two, who are starring together in Karan Johar’s Stepmom, have been getting along like a house on fire. The movie, with Arjun Ramphal as the hero, is set to be released late next year.
* Finally, it’s confirmed! Karan Johar’s eagerly awaited My Name is Khan, with Shahrukh Khan and Kajol in the lead roles, is to be released on February 12 2010. Khan plays a man with autism who goes to San Francisco to find his love – but is suspected of being a terrorist. The movie brings back the dream team of Khan and Kajol, who were last seen together in Khabi Khushi Khabie Gham.
* Last week we reported that Asin had signed for Ashutosh Gowari- ker’s new movie opposite Abhishek Bachchan. Well, within a week there has been a change of leading lady after Asin apparently backed out citing scheduling problems. She has been replaced by Deepika Padukone. Insiders claim Asin was unhappy with the size of her role.
* December seems to be a lucky time for Aamir Khan. Two years ago he made the masterpiece Taare Zameen Par and then last year he gave us Bollywood’s biggest hit, Ghajini. Now Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Sharman Joshi and Madhavan are gearing up for the release of 3 Idiots, made by Rajkumar Hirani, the man who made the Munnabhai movies. The first trailers of the film have just been released and the response has been phenomenal.
* It’s official – Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra are set to be married on November 22. Shilpa wrote on her blog: “I’m going through a lot of mixed feelings – happiness, excitement, nervousness – just like any bride-to-be and sadness as well. I miss my sister and am hoping that she’ll be out soon in my last few days at home. My parents are ecstatic and doing everything to make things perfect on my special day. I absolutely adore them! Honestly it still hasn’t sunk in completely, it’s a strange emotion, can’t describe it. The only consolation is that I’m tying the knot with Raj, a man who lets me be myself and doesn’t want me or my life to change, that erases premarital jitters.” While the wedding will be a private affair for close family, the couple have planned a lavish reception on November 24.
* In a predictable development, Vijay’s Vettaikaaran will now release on December 18, breaking a rule set by the Tamil Film Producer’s Council that all superstar films may only release on festival dates. The initial postponement from Diwali meant the film could then release only for Pongal, but when the producers are the powerful Sun Pictures, rules may be stretched or broken.
* Confusion still reigns over Vadivelu’s cancelled role in the Sathyaraj-Sundhar C starrer Guru Sishyan. The initial reports from the press said Vadivelu had opted out of the project because he was not happy with his salary. The reports maintained that he had increased his pay demands by more than 100% after the runaway success of Aadhavan. Subsequent reports spoke of a fall out between the actor and director Shakthi Chidambaram over the script.
* With Jayam Ravi’s Thilaalangadi fast progressing, there is now great excitement about his next film. Provisionally titled Paris, a large portion of the movie will be shot on location in the French capital. It will be produced by Kalpathi S Agoharam, who was responsible for Santhosh Subramaniam, and will feature music by Harris Jayaraj. The lead actress is still to be finalised, and rumours are that the producers are considering Sruthi Hassan.
* Surya has had to make a public statement after a recent press report stating that he is to play a lead role in a forthcoming Sri Lankan production. In his letter, Surya strongly refuted the media claims, saying he had never been approached by any Sri Lankan production company and that he had no plans to ever act in a Sri Lankan film. He is currently completing work on Hari’s Singam, after which he will commence his Hindi-Tamil venture with director Ramgopal Varma.
* Manjo Bharathiraja is to direct a remake of the hit thriller Sigappu Rojakkall, a hit film directed by his father, Bharathiraja, and starring Kamlhassan and Sri Devi. The film will be produced by KR Gangadharan, and will feature the music of Yuvanshanker Raja. Raja’s father, Illaiyaraja, scored the music in the original.