Producer Uru Patel has now zeroed in on Aamir Khan to play 'Hanuman', though God forbid, not as a monkey God, but as a super-hero, who can fly over mountains and skyscrapers and rescue the modern-day Rama from the ravenous Ravans of today"s world.
Hollywood stars Keanu Reeves and Gary Oldman will play Rama and Ravan, respectively. Sita was to be played by Shilpa Shetty. But she has opted out since then. The hunt is on for a new international face to play Sita.
Aamir has been keen to do super-hero film, especially after Hrithik Roshan"s Krissh and Shahrukh Khan"s forthcoming Ra.1 (where he plays a desi Spiderman). Hanuman will now be played as a super-hero with the best action directors and special-effects experts ensuring Aamir"s safe passage into super-heroism.
The whole project now depends on Aamir"s nod, which he"ll give only after he approves of the script. The catch is, Aamir"s signature will have to be on every page of the script. Says a source, “Aamir wants to sign every page of the script to ensure no changes happen during shooting. Only then will he agree to play 'Hanuman'."
Apparently, this is the method of working - signature on every page of the script - that Aamir will adopt in all his future projects, whenever he signs more films. For now it looks like Hanuman will be his first assignment after the blockbuster Ghajini.
Earlier, Hanuman was to be directed by Luis Mandoki (of Message In A Bottle fame). Mandoki wrote the first few drafts of the project. But now the chosen director is Chuck Russell, whose familiarity with the language of fantasy (Eraser, The Mask, The Scorpion King, Mandrake) qualified him for the job of directing Hanuman.
A hush-hush meeting happened in Los Angeles three months ago at producer Uru Patel"s residence, where director Chuck Russell met up with the project"s executive producer Pradeep Guha. The project has now passed into Aamir"s hand and his approval is awaited. Says Pradeep Guha, “He has been approached. But Aamir will decide after he reads the script."
Other sources insist that the makers of Hanuman are keen have Aamir on board and ready to comply with all his preconditions. Once Aamir signs the film formally, the first schedule of Hanuman is expected to be held in Rajasthan, at the end of the year. The rest of the film will be shot at Hollywood studios.