Abhishek Bachchan in Karan Johar's next film

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

imageMumbai, Feb 3 (IANS) Bollywood director Karan Johar has signed Abhishek Bachchan for his next film. After waiting through two movies, Abhishek will have the chance to star in Johar's third directorial venture.

In the yet-to-be-titled film, Abhishek has one of the lead roles, with the other going to a Johar favourite - Shah Rukh Khan.

Abhishek told IANS: "I've known Karan all my life. He's like family. Frankly, I was surprised when he sought me for his new film.

"I'm very excited. Who wouldn't be? Not only would I have the chance to work with an old friend, it's also a high point in any actor's life to be in a Dharma production, especially one directed by Karan himself."

Although Abhishek has never worked in a Dharma production, his parents, superstar Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, starred in Johar's "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham".

But Abhishek did have a walk-on scene in the film. He explained: "That happened when my parents, who were shooting in London, suggested I should fly down to London for a week, since my sister and her family were also there.

"One day, while they were shooting, I just walked into a frame as a joke. It was done just for fun. Nothing else. And it was edited out.

"But I keep joking with Karan that he cut me out because all the other heroes in the film - my dad, Shah Rukh and Hrithik - got insecure about my presence.

"That sums my relationship with Karan. And I'm looking forward to finally working with him. As an actor I'm elated for the opportunity to work with him so early in my career.

"Being in a Karan Johar film means you've arrived as an actor. But let me repeat, I treat Karan first as a brother, then as a director."

Asked about his role in the new film, Abhishek said: "I think it's too early. Karan is still scripting the film. He signed me because he wanted to reserve my dates."

Speaking of big banners, after the success of "Dhoom" and his guest appearance in "Hum Tum", Abhishek is considered the lucky mascot of Yashraj Films.

The actor laughed. "I don't think I can lay claims to being any kind of mascot. I'm just happy being part of banners like Yashraj Films and Dharma Productions," he said.