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1947: Earth is based on Bapsi Sidhwa's novel Ice-Candy Man. She makes a cameo at the end of the movie, as the older Lenny.
Believe it or not, Lagaan has many parallels with the Utpal Dutt-starrer Bhuvan Shome. The lead couple in both the films have the same name – Bhuvan and Gauri. Both the films were shot in Gujarat and had a voice over by Amitabh Bachchan. What's more? Suhasini Mulay who plays Bhuvan's mother in Lagaan, was the heroine in Bhuvan Shome.
Satyajit Ray was very upset with Richard Attenborough's Gandhi. He thought it was a Westerner's perception of the Mahatma. Attenborough considered Ray to be his mentor.
When Rajkumar Santoshi was making The Legend of Bhagat Singh with Ajay Devgan, he wanted to cast Aishwarya Rai as Ajay's love interest. But Rai was already working on 23rd March 1931: Shaheed with Guddu Dhanoa, which was also about, you guessed it, Bhagat Singh. Amrita Rao, then a newcomer, stepped in.
The movie, which brought Gandhi back into fashion almost wasn't made. The sequel to Munnabhai MBBS was supposed to be based on lawyers. But somehow director Raju Hirani was not happy with the script. When the final product was launched, it had only a few scenes with the lawyers. But then again, we aren't complaining, are we?
Ketan Mehta's original choice to play Mangal Pandey was Amitabh Bachchan. Of course that was in 1988 and not 2005. He made The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey with Aamir Khan.
Kamal Hassan had cast the little known veteran actor Mohan Gokhale to play the fanatic, Shriram Abhyankar. But when he was in Chennai, Gokhale died of a heart attack. Atul Kulkarni played the role finally.
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha and Lagaan released on the same day, June 15, 2001. Both were huge movies with a lot of money riding on it. Lagaan won a lot of awards but at the box office, Gadar proved to be a winner.
Among the stars who turned down Rang De Basanti were Hrithik Roshan and Shah Rukh Khan. Hrithik was approached for the role of Karan, which was eventually played by a newcomer, Siddharth. And R Madhavan stepped into Shah Rukh's shoes.
Mother India (1957) was produced by Mehboob Productions, whose logo was the hammer and sickle. After it was nominated for the Oscars, the makers had to remove the sequence because of the strong anti-communist sentiment. It was the Cold War period, remember?
In Lakshya, Preity Zinta's office is a real newsroom of the Sahara news channel. Apparently the premises were vacated at a very short notice and the makers didn't have to pay for it. Sahara was thanked in the opening credits.
The Anil Kapoor-starrer Nayak: The Real Hero was the last film in which AR Rahman and Anand Bakshi worked together.