Director Rajiv Rai was keen to cast Esha Deol as the female lead opposite Arjun Rampal (Dil Ka Rishta) in his new film, Asambhav, according to the grapevine.
But Esha stunned him by demanding Rs 50 lakh (approximately US $105,000) as her fee.
Rai dropped the idea.
Esha's loss turned out to be Priyanka Chopra's (The Hero: Love Story Of A Spy) gain.
Tabu says no
Abbas-Mustan offered Tabu a role in their as yet untitled thriller.
Apparently the film, which is still in the scripting stage, required the actress to play mother to the hero.
Abbas and Mustan are now scouting for a replacement. The film's final cast is expected to be announced soon.
Tabu has five films ready for release this year -- Guddu Dhanoa's Jaal -- The Trap and Hawa, Vishal Bhardwaj's Mian Maqbool, M F Husain's Meenaxi -- A Tale of Three Cities and Gautam Ghose's Abar Aranyer.
Ghai woos Ghosh
Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh is much in demand these days.
Though he is currently busy with the post-production of his film Chokher Bali starring Aishwarya Rai (the film is based on a famous novel by Rabindranath Tagore), Ghosh has already been approached by filmmaker Subhash Ghai to direct a film for his banner, Mukta Arts.
Two of Ghai's productions -- Anant Balani's Joggers' Park (set in Mumbai's well-known Joggers' Park) and Suhail Tatari's Chandni Chowk (set in Delhi) -- are being readied for release this year.
Next year, Abbas-Mustan and Vikram Bhatt will also direct films for Ghai's banner. Ghai himself will direct Homeland, starring Dilip Kumar and Akshaye Khanna. Shah Rukh Khan is expected to join the cast.
Shamita's passionate kiss
Shamita Shetty does not believe in false modesty.
After her steamy smooch with Uday Chopra in Yashraj Films' Mohabbatein (Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Jimmy Shergill, Jugal Hansraj, Preeti Jhangiani, Kim Sharma), she has done an encore.
This time, she locks lips with Manoj Bajpai in Dharmesh Darshan's forthcoming flick Bewafaa.
Chala Jugal hero banne
Unlike his successful stint as a child actor (Masoom, Hukumat), Jugal Hansraj is struggling to make his mark as a mainstream hero.
He began his second stint with non-starters like Aa Gale Lag Jaa (Urmila Matondkar) and Papa Kehte Hain (Anupam Kher, Mayuri Kango).
Then came Mohabbatein. The film was huge it, but Jugal was lost in its ensemble cast.
He has now pinned his hopes on Ram Gopal Varma's latest production, Chala Vinod Tiwari Film Banane, in which he plays the lead. The film will be directed by Rajneesh Thakur.
"It is a complete laugh riot," says Jugal.
Sanjay Kapoor's new career
Sanjay Kapoor has decided to diversify.
His career as a hero has not really taken off. He then tried turning villain with Koi Mere Dil Se Pooche (Esha Deol, Aftab Shivdasani), but that didn't work either.
Now he is turning producer and has signed Vikram Bhatt to direct his first film. "Vikram has agreed to start my film by December," says Sanjay. "My brother Anil [Kapoor] will play the main lead. I will not act in the film." Smart move, the wags might say.
Sanjay will next be seen playing the villain in Harry Baweja's action thriller Qayamat [Ajay Devgan, Suniel Shetty, Neha Dhupia, Arbaaz Khan, Isha Koppikar].
New direction for Vikas Bhalla
Vikas Bhalla, too, seems to be taking a leaf from Sanjay's book.
He tried acting. Dil Ke Jharoke Mein, opposite Manisha Koirala, sank without a trace.
He tried singing. Awara barely made a ripple.
He was recently seen on television in Zee's Miit, but has now been replaced by Hiten Tejwani.
Now, rumour has it, Vikas might don a new avatar apparently, he is to direct a forthcoming Balaji film.
Living on the edge: N Chandra
Anant Mahadevan (Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar) was director Dr Murnalini's original choice to direct Kagaar -- Living On the Edge (Om Puri, Nandita Das, Amitabh Dayal).
Three days before the shooting was to commence, he was sacked.
Apparently, Mahadevan, who had been strictly warned to commit solely to Kagaar, went ahead and agreed to direct the television serial Sambhav Asambhav.
The result: Mahadevan was replaced by N Chandra (Ankush, Tezaab, Narsimha, Style).
Payal's new Plan
Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai's discovery, Payal Rohatgi, has joined the cast of Sanjay Gupta's Plan (Sanjay Dutt, Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Suri, Bikram Saluja, Isha Koppikar)."I am paired opposite Bikram Saluja. I have a very glamorous role," she confirms.