Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone in Priyadarshan’s next

‘The super-prolific Priyadarshan who has directed 83 films in his 30-year career has just had a year, the first in his career, without releases. In 2011 Priyan had no releases. But he’s ready to make up for the lost year with as many as 4 films in 2012.

Of these, the ‘family comedy'(as he dubs it) which he will direct in July for producers Asthavinayak has him specially kicked. Not only is he working with Abhishek Bachchan for the first time, he has also reached out to Deepika Padukone for the female lead opposite Abhishek.

Deepika and Priyadarshan had a noisy fall-out five years ago when she opted out of Priyadarshan’s project Pirates about music piracy. Priyan was keen to launch her. The film was supposed to feature Deepika with four other newcomers playing part of a music band.

Instead Deepika chose to make her debut with Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om.’

‘Incensed and betrayed, Priyadarshan stayed away from all things Padukone did until 2008 when Shah Rukh Khan used his clout to persuade Deepika to perform an item song in Priyadarshan’s Billu which Shah Rukh’s Red Chillies production house produced.

The thawing of the ice began then. Now it’s time for the director and actress to finally work together.

Says Priyan happily, “We broke the ice during the song in Billu. Now I’ve a role just right for her.”

It’s a double delight for Priyadarshan since he has never worked with Deepika or Abhishek

Says Priyan, “Abhishek and I have been planning projects together for the longest time. We were supposed to do a bio-pic on Chandrashekhar Azad. But who watches historicals any more? I’ve finally zeroed in on the perfect project for Abhishek. We start shooting in July.” ‘

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