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Exit momma Madhuri, enter Bollywood Bengalis

Has a pregnant Madhuri Dixit paved the way for two other Bollywood biggies' foray into Bangla cinema' So it seems, at least for one of the projects that got stalled when the Dhak dhak girl backed out citing pregnancy.

After shelving his Madhuri-starrer Hridayer Katha, film-maker Budhhadeb Dasgupta has moved on to his next with a different script. The yet-untitled film, to be produced by Jhamu Sugandh, is likely to feature non-resident Bengalis Bipasha Basu and Rahul Bose in lead roles. The film also stars Mithun Chakraborty.

'While Rahul is on, I am still considering Bipasha for the film because I feel she will really suit the role. But it will only be finalised a couple of days later when she meets me during her visit to the city,' said Dasgupta on Thursday, back home from the 29th Toronto International Film Festival where his latest film Swapner Din (Chased by Dreams), starring Prosenjit, Rimii Sen and Raima Sen, enjoyed a world premiere in September.

If the casting process works out, Rahul will play Mithun's son in the film, which largely revolves around the two men. It will be the first Bengali film for both Rahul and Bipasha. Mithun, of course, is a veteran of many a Tollywood venture having even bagged the Best Actor National Award for Dasgupta's Tahader Katha.

The leggy Bollywood beauty breezes through town this weekend to walk the ramp after a long spell. Even the producers did not confirm the casting coup of sorts. 'Nothing has been finalised yet,' insisted a spokesperson for Jhamu Sugandh, producer of such Bollywood blockbusters as Lagaan.

The other Mumbai import, Rahul, who was in the city a few days back as a special guest for a television award show, was tightlipped about the Dasgupta film during his visit. But when The Telegraph contacted the young actor-director in London, he was more vocal. 'Yes, I am doing Buddhadeb Dasgupta's next film. I'll be able to talk more about the project once I'm back in the country in end-October.'

The outdoors of this film will be canned in Orissa, as Dasgupta is wary of camping in Calcutta with his high-voltage cast. Work on Swapner Din was hampered when a huge crowd thronged the shooting site at Santiniketan early this year.

'Swapner Din has received a very good response in Toronto,' added the film-maker, who is planning to release the film in November in Calcutta.

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