BANGALORE — Former Miss World and popular Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will make her comeback with “Jazbaa.” Rai Bachchan’s last release was 2010’s “Guzaarish,” after which she took time out to have a child.
“Jazbaa” is a contemporary thriller set in modern-day Mumbai. Its main three protagonists are a lawyer, a suspended cop and a schoolteacher to be played by Rai Bachchan, Irrfan Khan (“Jurassic World”) and Shabana Azmi (“The Black Prince”), respectively.
Sanjay Gupta (“Shootout at Wadala”) will direct and co-produce.
“I chose Aishwarya because India is a completely male-driven society and so is its cinema. The lead protagonist in my film is a woman, and therefore it was imperative that I cast someone with the right histrionic capabilities as well as strong shoulders to carry the film. The fact that this will be the first film in nearly five years with which she returns to the cinema screens is an added bonus,” Gupta told Variety.
The film begins shooting in mid-January, and a first look will be revealed at Cannes, where Rai Bachchan is a regular on the red carpet as the face of global brands. She also served on the Cannes jury in 2003. A worldwide release is planned for August or September.
“Jazbaa” is the first in a multifilm deal to produce mainstream commercial Hindi-language titles between Gupta’s White Feather Films and India’s Essel Vision Productions, the studio wing of Zee Entertainment Enterprises, a behemoth television conglomerate that also has a strong presence in the Marathi- and Bengali-language film industries.