Abhishek Bachchan will star as a young Bob Biswas in a spinoff film centred on the creepy insurance agent-cum-contract killer character from the Vidya Balan hit Kahaani (2012). Bengali actor Saswata Chatterjee (who appeared as Ranbir Kapoor’s foster father in the 2017 film Jagga Jasoos) played Bob in Kahaani, but the new movie will reportedly be the backstory of the character who kills (frequently innocent) people in cold blood.
The film will be directed by Diya Ghosh, daughter of Kahaani director Sujoy Ghosh, and Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment is on board to produce it. Abhishek is believed to have said yes to the project the moment he was told by his old friend Sujoy told his daughter would be debuting as director with this film. Diya has assisted Sujoy on Badla (2019) and his Netflix series Typewriter.
Like Kahaani, the Bob Biswas film will be shot in Kolkata. Some characters from that film could show up in cameos, but Vidya Balan’s Bidya Bagchi is not expected to make an appearance. Rumour has it that Saswata will show up in the end as the older Bob and the film will give us a sense of who Bob Biswas is outside his dual jobs and identities—a glimpse of his early years, his family life, his home and how and why he took a liking to killing. Abhishek is expected to undergo a ‘makeover’ for the part that will render him physically closer to what Saswata looked like in the earlier film.
A Star-Studded Movie
Brahmastra, or let’s just call it ‘The Film that’s Still Shooting’, has moved to Manali for its latest schedule, where Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt were joined by Amitabh Bachchan. The senior star flew to shoot with the leads earlier this week, and is expected to complete his portions over roughly two weeks.
As the film’s shoot continues to go on over the better part of two years now, its cast is also ballooning. First, it was Ranbir, Alia, Amitabh Bachchan and Mouni Roy. Next heard Telugu stars Nagarjuna and Amala had joined the team. Most recently, Shah Rukh Khan shot scenes for the film over a few nights in Mumbai. Very little is known about SRK’s role, but it is likely an important cameo and not a recurring part that will show up in the second and third films in director Ayan Mukerji’s planned trilogy.
The second and third films, whenever they go into production, will bring in a second leading man—but not alongside Ranbir. The other actor could play the father of Ranbir’s character and will feature in scenes depicting him in his youth. Unless the past and present timelines converge (anything could happen, this is a sci-fi superhero film!), Ranbir and the other actor may not have scenes together.
On the Back Burner
When a leading studio recently delayed the release of one of their big-ticket titles by a few months, it became clear to industry insiders that there was a problem. This is a film that the studio has produced in-house and one that has cost them a neat little packet, so it’s very unlikely that they’d postponed the release for no good reason.
The reason, as it turns out, has been staring everyone in the face. The studio has realised that the audience appears to have lost interest in their talented and promising leading man since his name became linked to a scandal. Despite efforts on the part of the studio to deny the rumours, the actor has not been able to revive interest in himself. So much so that he barely benefitted from a big fat hit that he starred in recently. It also doesn’t help that the film’s director was tainted by a similar scandal, whose veracity was also questioned.
Sources say the studio has decided to move the film to next summer in the hope that public memory is short. They’re counting on the possibility that the audience will look at the film—and their leading man—with fresh eyes closer to the release and might be willing to show more enthusiasm for their film, which, by the way, the studio has faith in.