Avinash Lohana (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 3, 2017)

In an earlier interview to Mirror (April 15), soon after bagging the National Award for Best Director for his debut Marathi black comedy, Ventilator, Rajesh Mapuskar had revealed that the idea struck him when he was halfway through scripting his second Hindi film after the 2012 Sharman Joshi-starrer Ferrari Ki Sawaari. Today, Mapuskar will be in the capital accepting the Golden Lotus before he catches the night flight to the Big Apple. Ventilator, produced by Priyanka Chopra and her mother Madhu, will be screened at the New York Indian Film Festival on May 4 with a proud Mapuskar in attendance. But he's not planning to rest on his laurels. The 48-year-old writer-director-producer has returned to the aborted musical, which will be produced by Ashutosh Gowariker, who incidentally played the protagonist in Ventilator.

“He has been writing this film since a long time. Ashutosh has really liked the subject. They are currently casting for the film and should lock the actors soon,“ informs a source close to the development.

Last week, when Priyanka was in town, she had hosted a party to celebrate the success of her maiden production and its three National Award wins. Buzz is, she will collaborate with Mapuskar for another Marathi film. But both the actor-producer and the writer-director are mum on this.

Meanwhile, the musical will be Ashutosh's third production. He's also bought the rights of Vikram Sampath's 2010 novel, My Name is Gauhar Jaan!. He is also directing a stylish, contemporary, action-packed caper with Farhan Akhtar in the lead.