Aishwarya –Abhishek

In Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s biopic on lyricist and poet Sahir Ludhianvi, Abhishek Bachchan plays Ludhianvi, and Aishwarya Rai his love interest, writer Amrita Pritam. The film will be the couple's ninth outing together. (IANS photo)

MUMBAI—With Priyanka Chopra opting out of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s biopic on poet Sahir Ludhianvi due to date issues, it is reported now that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Bhansali’s heroine in ‘Devdas” and “Guzaarish,” will play Amrita Pritam in the film.

Abhishek Bachchan works for the first time with producer Bhansali and plays Ludhianvi. The film will be directed by debutante Jasmeet Reen and will go on floors early next year.

This will be the ninth film to bring the Bachchan couple together on screen. The earlier films in which they co-starred include “Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke” (2000), “Bunty Aur Babli” (2005, but not romantically), “Kuch Naa Kaho” (2003), “Dhoom:2” (2006, again not romantically), “Umrao Jaan” (2006), “Guru”(2007), “Sarkar Raj” (2008) and “Raavan” (2010).

Ironically, Chopra had replaced Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the item (title) song in “Goliyon Ki RasLila RamLila.”

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