Finally, Arjun Kapoor to star in 2 States


By Hindustan Times

After several false starts and a whole bunch of actors and directors walking in and out of the frame, the film adaptation of 2 States is finally set to take off. We’ve now learnt that Sajid Nadiadwala and Karan Johar’s co-production based on Chetan ‘bestseller’ Bhagat’s novel by the same name is confirmed to star Arjun Kapoor.

Of course, there was still some drama remaining in this roller-coaster ride — before finalising Arjun for the lead. It seems Imran Khan had been approached for the role. But he turned down the offer since he was tied up with multiple projects — Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, followed by Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2 and Milan Talkies.

We tried reaching Karan and Sajid for comments, but they remained unavailable. However, the Ishaqzaade star is believed to have formally signed the contract a few days ago. An industry insider confirms, “Yes, Imran was approached but he had date issues. That’s how Arjun came into the picture. Both Sajid and Karan were very impressed with his work in Ishaqzaade. So he was the next natural choice.”

When we called Arjun, he didn’t deny the news, but only told us, “I don’t want to make any comments till things are finalised. Let’s wait for the official announcement.”

However, our insider insists that Arjun is “very much on,” but has been instructed not to talk about the upcoming project as of now.

The drama over 2 States’ film adaptation started in 2010 when Sajid bought the rights. First, director Siddharth Anand (of Bachna Ae Haseeno and Anjaana Anjaani fame) was to take on the film with Saif Ali Khan and Priyanka Chopra in the lead. Then Shah Rukh Khan entered the fray with director Vishal Bhardwaj. Chapter three saw KJo step in as co-producer with Ranbir Kapoor’s name being suggested for the lead role.

Now, before this casting story gets more chapters than the book itself, things seem to be falling into place. Debutant Abhishek Varman, who has worked as an assistant director on Karan’s My Name Is Khan (2010) and upcoming Student Of The Year, will direct the film. “It’s likely to go on the floors towards the end of the year. The remaining details will be finalised once Sajid is back from his Europe trip,” says the insider.

2 States is a love story about a girl from a Tamil family and a Punjabi boy, and the hurdles they face en route to marriage.