New Delhi, Jan 4 (IANS) Canada-based Indian filmmaker Deepa Mehta says she has finished writing the script for the big-screen adaptation of Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize winner 'Midnight's Children' and will start filming in September this year.
'We've just finished the screenplay (for 'Midnight's Children) and we're going to do the casting in the next couple of weeks. We hope to start filming September,' Mehta told IANS.
'It (the movie) is totally based on Salman's book,' she added on the sidelines of the first Pravasi Film Festival that started here Sunday.
Rumours were also rife that Bollywood actress Rani Mukerji was to star in the movie version of the bestseller, but Mehta chose to stay mum on that.
The 60-year-old, however, threw light on the other members of the cast: 'We have a few people that we've already decided to work with - Seema Biswas, Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das. And the rest we are looking for.'
She is also looking forward to starting 'Komagata Maru', the Japanese ship hired by Malaysia-based wealthy Sikh Gurdit Singh to take 376 Indians from Hong Kong to Canada in 1914 to challenge its racist laws. The Indians were not allowed to disembark in Vancouver and forcibly sent back to India where many were shot on arrival in Calcutta, as it was then called.
The film will revisit the journey of Indians who wanted a better life in Canada, but were denied entry by the racist government of the time.
'We're doing 'Komagata Maaru' in 2013 with Akshay (Kumar) in the lead. The 'Komagata Maaru' incident has its 100th anniversary in 2014 so financiers felt it to be much better to do it for the 100th anniversary,' Mehta, whose last release was the Preity Zinta starrer 'Heaven on Earth', said.
To be produced jointly by Hamilton-Mehta Productions Inc in association with Akshay's home production Hariom Entertainment, 'Komagata Maaru' will be filmed in Canada and around the world. Mongrel Media will distribute it in Canada.
Having Amitabh Bachchan in the lead earlier, rumour mills were abuzz that Big B was replaced by Akshay on citizenship grounds as the actor has a permanent resident status of Canada.
'A lot of the financing came from the Canadian government and they wanted a Canadian,' she said.
So Akshay's citizenship helped the movie?
'If he would have been a totally wrong person for it, I would not be doing the film with him. He is a Punjabi and he feels right for it,' said Mehta.ALSO READ: Shabana Azmi talks about 'What's Love Got To Do With It?' ahead of its digital premiere on 10th Nov