June 10, 2002 
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Abhishek Bachchan
Abhishek out of Varma's film
LoC comes first for Bachchan Jr

Subhash K Jha

Even before Ram Gopal Varma's next directorial venture gets underway, Abhishek Bachchan has opted out of the hi-tech, horror flick Bhoot, which had him cast opposite Urmila Matondkar and the elusive Rekha.

Abhishek says, "I am no longer in Ramu's Bhoot. The reason why I am not doing Bhoot is because of J P Dutta's LoC. Thanks to the current trouble at the [Indo-Pakistan] border, Dutta's schedule has been pushed forward by a month. I could not say no, since that film requires the combined dates of so many actors."

"But I will begin shooting for a film by Ramu's former assistant Madhur Bhandarkar and Vashu Bhagnani shortly. Madhur and I go back a long way. Our film was scripted even before Chandni Bar. My film with Aks director Rakesh Mehra will also start in July. Ramu and I will still work together in a film he was to make for AB Corp Ltd."

Now in Australia's Kangaroo Island for Road, directed by Rajat Mukherjee, Varma says, "I have signed on Ajay Devgan for the role now. After working with him in Company I know what he's capable ofI spoke to Ajay before leaving for Australia. It is a film that will shock many people. If Company was considered experimental, Bhoot is ten times more experimental. So I guess it stands one-tenth of Company's chances at the box-office."

This is the third time an Abhishek Bachchan-Ram Gopal Varma project has gone awry. Earlier, Varma had offered the actor Company and the under-production Road. Both these did not materialise.


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