If Sanjay Leela Bhansali can set Shakespeare's love tragedy Romeo & Juliet in Gujarat, why can't Shekhar Kapoor situate the same timeless material in futuristic Mumbai? And shoot it in Singapore?
That's exactly what Shekhar will do in Paani. The film is a tale of star-crossed lovers from incompatible social stratas where the girl would be upper-class elite of Caucasian pedigree while the boy would be tanned bare-bodied desi ruffian with the manners of a street urchin and the lingo of a fish seller.
Says our source, "Paani is a cross-cultural rich-poor Romeo & Juliet love story set in futuristic Mumbai when water will be the biggest asset and the most expensive commodity in the world. Wealth would be determined by how much of the city's water supply is controlled by the powers-that-be. In the film, Mumbai would be divided into the Upper City and Lower City. The rich girl would be from the Upper City and the poor boy who sneaks into the forbidden elitist area would be from the Lower City."
Shekhar, one hears from reliable sources, has decided to cast a fresh Caucasian girl and an new Indian boy as the two main leads.
Says our source, "It is the only way Shekhar's love story will work. The boy and the girl have to be young innocent and reckless. Both Shekhar and Aditya Chopra are firm believers in the power of fresh actors. Adi in fact has been building a bank of new talent at Yash Raj for the past three years. Shekhar too has worked with newcomers in the past to great advantage. So they are both on the same page on this issue."
When questioned about the cast Shekhar Kapoor said, "I can't talk about it. The Paani casting is under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) right now."