The recent super success of ‘The Dirty Picture’ has made lead actress Vidya Balan the chocolate favorite of ‘Balaji Motion Pictures’ headed by soap queen Ekta Kapoor. And with the unrivalled Vidya belting out back-to-back powerful performances in a slew of films, speculations were rife that she will land the female lead opposite the hunky John Abraham in ‘Shootout At Wadala’.
However, recent reports confirm that ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ actress Kangana Ranaut has edged past Balan to grab the meaty role. ‘Shootout At Wadala’ is a multi-starrer flick from the Balaji camp and will be directed by Sanjay Gupta. Even though Vidya Balan was speculated to land the role, Balaji team has zeroed on in Kangana as the female protagonist. This is an unexpected move since Kangana’s screen presence and acting caliber is not up to the level of Vidya’s box office current dominance. But Kangana views the Balaji team with high regards and was quick to give her nod to the project when the makers approached her.
Besides, Kangana has recently rubbed shoulders with the Balaji camp in the critically acclaimed action thriller ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai’ for which she earned some accolades and adulations. Interestingly, Kangana’s confirmation for the role sets up her maiden onscreen date with the beefy John Abraham who essays the male protagonist in ‘Shootout At Wadala’. This will be the first time that fans & movie-goers will witness the John-Kangana Jodi.
Making an official confirmation about the reports, Tanuj Garg, the respected CEO of Balaji Motion Pictures, quips, “Yes, Kangana has been approached. The film is becoming bigger each passing day.”
Why not Vidya Balan: And if you are thinking that Kangana will be required to do the glamorous song & dance routine, then you can be no more mistaken. Director Sanjay Gupta stresses this point remarking that the role requires Kangana to project a very serious image of a ‘non-fictional character’. The powerful woman-centric role will definitely be a challenge Kangana shall love to accept. But, you may wonder why Mr. Gupta replaced Vidya with Kangana since the role is tailor-made for the Filmfare winning actress! Getting candid about the subject, Gupta states that though the role was penned keeping Vidya in mind, her priorities have changed entirely after the stupendous success of ‘The Dirty Picture’ and Vidya, therefore, no longer, fits the bill.
Sanjay also showers praise on Kangana suggesting that she has the potential to make it big in Bollywood and he is looking forward to directing her in the movie. Brushing aside the general notion that Kangana is a glam doll, Sanjay Gupta asserts that she is a ‘powerhouse performer’ and this role will definitely provide her the opportunity to showcase her inherent talent.
A sneak peek: Sanjay also gives a tantalizing peek into her character in the film stating that her role will evoke memories of Smita Patel’s powerful characters from classic films like ‘Namak Halal’ and ‘Shakti’. There is a mix of glamour and female empowerment in her character which will do justice to Kangana’s talent.
Release date & starcast: The film ‘Shootout at Wadala’ is slated for a December, 2012 release and will star John Abraham, Tusshar Kapoor (an indispensability of the Balaji camp) and veteran Anil Kapoor in crucial roles. Shooting shall commence this March!