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      Before Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Mani Ratnam Wanted To Make Ponniyin Selvan With Rekha As Nandini

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      After two failed attempts, ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam finally fulfilled his dream of adapting Kalki's literary masterpiece Ponniyin Selvan into a full-fledged feature film. Despite receiving mixed reviews, the magnum opus which released in theatres on September 30, is enjoying a successful run at the box office.

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      Recently, in an interview with an entertainment portal, Mani Ratnam revealed that he wanted to make Ponniyin Selvan way back in the 1980s and had Rekha in his mind to essay the role of queen Nandini which has now been essayed by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in his latest release.

      However, he also added that he never approached Rekha when he was thinking of casting her in his film decades ago.

      During an interview with Pinkvilla, Mani Ratnam talked about his latest magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan and revealed that he wanted to make the film in the 1980s. Talking about the film's cast that he had in mind decades ago, the Raavan helmer revealed he wanted Bollywood veteran Rekha to portray the role of Princess of Pazhuvoor, Nandini. However, the filmmaker never approached Rekha and eventually made the film in the 2020s casting Aishwarya Rai for the role.

      The filmmaker told Pinkvilla, "In those days, in the 80s when I was thinking of making this, her (Rekha's) name did come to my mind. That's what I was thinking at the time, but I never approached her."

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      Speaking about how excited Aishwarya was to reunite with him post Iruvar and Raavan, Mani Ratnam shared, "They make dates for the film, not for me. And if they're available, they come, and that's how I really like it to be. I want them to be invested in the story first, it's not for me. And Nandini is completely different from what she has done before."

      In the same interview, the acclaimed filmmaker was also asked if Thalaivaa Rajinikanth wanted to be a part of his ambitious project. To this, he replied, "I can't just bring in a superstar, I have to be honest to the story. So I told him (Rajinikanth) I will take a raincheck with him about that."

      Besides Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ponniyin Selvan also features Vikram, Karthi, Trisha and Jayram Ravi in leading roles.

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