Package Deal - Saif and Kareena

by Rajiv Dutta

If sources are to be believed, Saif Ali Khan has roped in girlfriend Kareena Kapoor for two potboilers, which will be produced by his production house Illuminati Films Pvt Ltd. The actor who turned producer with Being Cyrus is set to roll three films this year, and Kareena will be seen as the leading lady in two of them. A source close to the actor says, "Yes, Kareena is going to work in two films, which will be produced by Saif."

As far as the films are concerned, Kareena will feature in Sriram Raghavan's Agent Vinod and another untitled film, of which details are yet to be finalised. The story goes that ever since Saif started seeing Kareena, he has been recommending Kareena's name to directors including Imtiaz Ali and Anurag Kashyap, who are making films for his production house.

In circles where it really matters, the buzz is that the couple is keen on featuring together in television commercials. Another source says, "Common assignments and films will allow them to be together. That's exactly what they are looking for."

However, it's not very clear as to when Saif and Kareena will start filming for Agent Vinod as director Sriram Raghavan is presently writing his other script featuring John Abraham and Aishwarya Rai.

When contacted, Dinesh Vijan, who is Saif's business partner at Illuminati Films, says, "Kareena is definitely doing Agent Vinod, and we are yet to plan any other film with her."

Rajkumar Santoshi has started fresh talks with Saif Ali Khan for his period film, Jis Lahor Nai Dekhya Woh Janmya Hi Nahin, which is based on Dr Asghar Wajahat's book. The filmmaker, who was recently in Greece , was keen on meeting the actor who was filming for Tashan with Kareena Kapoor. The story goes that Santoshi had earlier approached Saif but the actor politely declined as he wasn't too excited about the role.

An industry insider says, "There is a lot of uncertainty over Santoshi's Ashoka and the director probably wants to start this film based on Asghar Wajahat's book, the rights of which have been bought by the director. He had earlier approached Saif Ali Khan to play one of the main leads in the film but the actor had turned down the offer. After watching Kareena Kapoor playing a Punjabi character in Jab We Met, Santoshi might offer them a package deal."

Govind Nihalani, who directed films like Tamas and Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, had initially bought the rights of the book but failed to make a film on the subject. Asghar Wajahat's book is based on a true story of a frail Punjabi Hindu woman who is left behind in a haveli in Lahore .

She refuses to leave her home although the haveli is allotted to another family. After the initial rift with the family who occupy the home, she adjusts with her 'new family' and starts living with them. After she dies, a debate over her last rites results in communal tension.


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