Sanyukta Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 7, 2017)

Two-time National Award-winning Marathi filmmaker, Nagraj Manjule, is making his Bollywood debut with a yet-untitled social drama. It features Amitabh Bachchan as a patriarch with shades of grey.

After his 2016 drama, Sairat, went on to become the highest grossing Marathi film, being remade in Telugu and Punjabi and picked up by Karan Johar for a Hindi-remake, Nagraj began scripting another film. He had the concept for a while and had planned it as a Marathi film, but after Sairat, he wanted to revisit the story in Hindi. “Nagraj worked on it for a year-and-a-half before taking the script to Bachchan in January. The project was locked soon after,“ reveals a source close to the development, adding that the film is expected to roll later this year.

At a recent event, the 39-year-old-filmmaker revealed that he was a huge Bachchan fan and had decided to become a director while enacting a few scenes as Bachchan from Ramesh Sippy's classic Sholay on stage. And the admiration is mutual. Bachchan considers Nagraj a genius-director and applauded Sairat on social media, and sent the filmmaker a personal letter after watching the film too.

A sit-down dinner with hand-crafted name cards on every table, live performances and a who's who guest list is being put together for Amitabh Bachchan's 75th birthday celebrations. The party will be hosted at a three-storey studio in Film City, which has already been booked for October 10. Apart from Bachchan, son Abhishek, daughter-in-law Aishwarya and daughter Shweta Bachchan-Nanda, are overseeing every detail along with an event management company, with a lot of surprises in store too. While his last birthday was a private affair at his Juhu bungalow, Jalsa, Bachchan's 70th birthday was the talk of the town. Guests included business tycoons Mukesh and Anil Ambani with mother Kokilaben, Adi Godrej, Kumar Mangalam Birla, politicians Mulayam Singh Yadav with son Akhilesh, Chhagan Bhujbal, Uddhav Thackrey, actor Shah Rukh Khan with wife Gauri, the late actor Vinod Khanna and late filmmaker Yash Chopra, producer Boney Kapoor with wife Sridevi and Anil Kapoor, to name a few. This year the party is expected to only get bigger and better.