Lakhia directs for Ekta Kapoor, but doesn't cast Abhishek

Jun 23, 2008 Subhash K Jha

Mumbai, June 23 (IANS) After finishing "Mission Istaanbul", Apoorva Lakhia is set to direct a film for Ekta Kapoor and has finalised the cast. But, surprisingly, his good pal Abhishek Bachchan's name is missing from the list.

Asked why Abhishek is not part of the cast, Lakhia said: "Not in this one. I need to work with actors I haven't worked with before."

The director told IANS: "Tusshar Kapoor couldn't do my 'Mission Istaanbul'. So I'd want to work with him this time even if this wasn't his home production. Zayed (Khan) is someone I've watched evolve as an actor during 'Mission Istaanbul'. I'd like to take him forward."

Lakhia's next film will also launch the duo from Ekta's reality show "Kissko Milega Ticket To Bollywood".

"It will also have Sanjay Dutt besides the two newcomers from the reality show," he said.

Going back to Abhishek, Lakhia said: "Though I'd like to feature him in all my films, just this once I'm going to let Abhishek go and with a good reason. In the second-half of 2009, I'm doing a film with Abhishek as the solo hero for producer Vashu Bhagnani."

Lakhia started his career with Abhishek starrer "Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost", which didn't do well at the box office. After that he made "Ek Ajnabee" with the Big B, which was once again rejected by critics and audiences.

Lakhia hit the jackpot with "Shootout At Lokhandwala", which had both Abhishek and Amitabh.

Apparently, it's Abhishek who got Lakhia the Bhagnani project.

"That's right," conceded Lakhia. "When Bhagnani-ji asked Abhishek to do a film for him, Abhishek suggested that I direct it."

Lakhia isn't too willing to divulge details about Bhagnani's project right now. But according to the producer, it will be a "full-on masti film".

Bhagnani said: "Last time Abhishek did 'Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya' for me, but it didn't work. This time I want to make sure the audiences go home with a smile on their face."

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