Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to play dual roles in Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan adaptation?
The actor is expected to be seen as Nandini, the wife of Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar, and her mute mother, the queen Mandakini Devi
Mani Ratnam's dream project, the Ponniyin Selvan adaptation seems to be getting bigger with every passing day. While it is confirmed that Vikram, Jayam Ravi, Parthiban, Jayaram and Aishwarya Rai are part of the project, names like Anushka, Karthi, Keerthy Suresh, Amitabh Bachchan, Mayaanadhi-fame Aishwarya Lekshmi, and Amala Paul have also been speculated to be part of this period film.
We now hear that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who was last seen in the Bollywood film, Fanney Khan, will be playing dual roles in the adaptation. She is expected to be seen as Nandini, the wife of Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar (played by Mohanbabu), and her mute mother, the queen Mandakini Devi. While Mohanbabu plays the chancellor and treasurer of the Chola kingdom, Aishwarya's Nandini is said to have been written as a mysterious, power-hungry woman, who manipulates her husband to effect the downfall of the Chola empire as her rightful revenge.
The film, which is currently in pre-production, is expected to go on floors in November this year in locations in Tamil Nadu and Thailand, with a staggering 5000 extras, apart from the main cast.
We also hear that Mani Ratnam has asked his lead actors to grow long hair, and Jayam Ravi who plays Arulmozhi Varman, and Parthiban who is donning the role of Periya Pazhuvettaiyar, have already been sporting long manes in their public appearances. Vikram and Karthi are also expected to undergo makeovers for their roles as Karkala Chozhan and Vallavarayan Vandiyadevan, respectively.
Mani Ratnam's follow-up to Chekka Chivantha Vaanam is likely to be produced by Reliance Entertainment. The screenplay is being written by actor-writer Elango Kumaravel, who has adapted a number of historical novels into stage plays.