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Shabana steps into Jaya's shoes

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Shabana Azmi
Ajay Phansekar, who had earlier made the critically acclaimed Encounter: The Killing, is back in action after a long time. While his first film a small budget venture featured Naseeruddin Shah playing an encounter specialist along with a host of newcomers, his upcoming feature, Mukti has big names.

Produced by K Sera Sera, Mukti is a hard hitting subject made in a thriller format and is a based upon a real life incident that took place in Mumbai, few years back. It stars Sanjay Dutt, Vinod Khanna, Suniel Shetty, Ravi Kishen and Rimmi Sen. For a pivotal role, veteran actress Jaya Bachchan was signed for the film. But, now at the last minute s the shoot is about to begin, Jaya Bachchan has opted out.

According to industry sources, "Jaya Bachchan has cited date problems as the reason behind her inability to do Mukti. But what is surprising all is that when Mrs. Bachchan doesn't have any films on hand to boast about, what is this date problems all about? Or is it because she wants to keep company with the Bachchan family members - Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya, who are performing in their Unforgettable Tour?"

Having left in the lurch at the last moment, the makers were in a fix but were finally bailed out by Shabana Azmi who agreed to take on the role, which Jaya Bachchan had earlier been signed for.

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