By Saibal Chatterjee
Cannes, May 18 (IANS) French director Jan Kounen, whose latest film will be screened on the closing night of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, is headed to India for his next project that may star Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan in the main leads.
Paris-based Manuel de la Roche, the producer of the proposed film, "The Secret History of the Dalai Lamas", has Amitabh and Abhishek on his wish list and hopes to pull off a casting coup.
The father-son duo were earlier seen together in the Bollywood movies "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" and the "Sarkar" series. Their next is R. Balakrishnan's "Pa".
"The film will trace the history of the Dalai Lamas all the way from the 14th century. It will blend dramatised re-enactments involving the earlier incarnations with excerpts from an interview with the current Dalai Lama," de la Roche told IANS.
He also indicated that the producers would soon be approaching both Amitabh and Abhishek with acting offers for the upcoming production.
"We are very keen to cast the father and son duo in key roles in the film. Sharon Stone (who is a practising Tibetan Buddhist) will step in as the narrator, while Hollywood star Richard Gere will also be involved with the project," added Roche.
Manuel de la Roche had also produced Kounen's film on the life and work of Mata Amritanandamayi, "Darshan - L'Entreinte" ("Darshan - The Embrace"). It was screened Out of Competition in Cannes in 2005.
De la Roche's company Movie Sphere has joined hands with Berlin-based Integral Films for "The Secret History of the Dalai Lamas".
Both the Dalai Lama film and the feature-length documentary on Mata Amritanandamayi, who is popularly known simply as Amma, are offshoots of "Another Reality" - the television series on the diversity of world culture that Kounen and de la Roche had earlier collaborated on.
According to de la Roche, "The Secret History of the Dalai Lamas" will be shot later this year in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and other parts of the Indian subcontinent.
It will be ready for release in the second half of 2010.
Dutch-born Kounen's "Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky" is being screened as the closing night film at the Cannes.