Ravi Chopra's movie 'Babul' in casting trouble...

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

imageMumbai, Jan 16 (IANS) Director Ravi Chopra's "Babul" seems stuck for the moment with the search for a suitable replacement-husband for heroine Rani Mukherjee in the film yielding no results.

The soon-to-begin film has superstar Amitabh Bachchan as father-in-law trying to find another husband for daughter-in-law Rani.

A similar theme was played out almost 30 years ago in Ramesh Sippy's "Sholay" in which Sanjeev Kumar tried to marry off his daughter-in-law Jaya Bhaduri with the silent stranger Amitabh Bachchan. The 'forbidden' match never materialised.

For "Babul", Ravi Chopra has decided to approach Bobby Deol after several top-notch actors, including Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar, reportedly refused the offer to play the second husband.

In terms of the script Amitabh Bachchan says: "'Babul' is even stronger than 'Baghban'. It has a very strong social message."

The casting is a dream-come-true. Rani Mukherjee steps into a role that was very persuasively offered to Kajol (she declined, apparently because she didn't find much scope for her character).

The film re-unites the "Baghban" pair of Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini with Salman Khan as the son who dies.

Abhishek Bachchan was considered for the role of replacement husband but that didn't work out. Firstly his date diary in 2005 is jam packed, and also because Abhishek as the second man in the widow's life was felt to look too pat.

Everyone on the team felt the senior Bachchan recommending junior for his widowed daughter-in-law was just not persuasive for the plot.