Kangana Ranaut, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai were approached for Laxmi Agarwal story

Screenwriter and associate director Rakesh Bharti claimed that it was too emotional for Ranaut to do the film, while Chopra was more keen on producing than acting in it

By Mayur Lookhar

Kangana Ranaut (l), Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma (c), Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Screenwriter, associate director Rakesh Bharti today claimed that he had offered the Laxmi Agarwal story to the likes of Kangana Ranaut, Priyanka Chopra. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma.   Bharti has moved court against Chhaapaak [2020] producers, director Meghna Gulzar claiming copyrights over the Laxmi Agarwal story.

Bharti claimed that he owns the rights to acid attack victim and activist Laxmi Agarwal’s story.  During the press conference, Bharti also spoke about having approached the likes of Kangana Ranaut, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai Bachahan and Anushka Sharma for his film.

Bharti claimed that he had disclosed his story idea to former Fox Star Studio content head Rukmini Sen, who then agreed to back the film provided they managed to get a top actress.

“Rukmini [Sen] had told me that if they manage to get a big heroine, then they [Fox Star Studios] would be presenting the film.  I then approached Kangana Ranaut. We interacted through e-mails over the course of next 7-8 months.  I then had a word with [Kangana’s sister] Rangoli Chandel, who is an acid attack victim too. Rangoli said that this film would make Kangana very emotional. So, it won’t be possible for her to do it,” said Bharti.

Once Ranaut politely turned down Bharti’s story idea, the Aaj Ka Arjun [1990] associate director had approached Priyanka Chopra through Petrina D’Rozario – Chief Operating Officer of Chopra’s Purple Pebble Pictures.

“Priyanka had said that she has no time to act, but she was willing to produce it.  I then approached Yash Raj Films for Anushka Sharma. Her secretary said that she is busy for the next two years. Then I approached Aishwarya Rai through [make-up artiste turned filmmaker] Deepak Sawant,” claimed Bharti.

Sadly, for Bharti, in 2017 he was shocked to learn that Fox Star Studios was making a film based on Laxmi Agarwal ‘s story with Deepika Padukone as the lead and Meghna Gulzar as the director.

Bharti has moved the Bombay High Court and the Borivili Court seeking a stay on the release of Chhapaak. The matter will be heard on 7 and 9 January in the two courts, respectively.

Chhapaak is set to be released on 10 January.


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