Bachchans due in Dbn

2014-03-05 00:00

THERE will be tight security in Umhlanga when three of the top Bollywood stars arrive to stay there while shooting a major movie in KwaZulu-Natal in April.

Stars Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek Bachchan and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan are coming to Durban in April to shoot the film Happy Anniversary being produced by Gaurang Dhoshi of Aanken fame.

“This will be the first time all three of them will be in the country at the same time,” said local producer Javed Aboobaker.

“The film is about a husband and a wife and a father, and things go completely crazy,” said Aboobaker who likened the film to Mr and Mrs Smith starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. “The film will be very stylised,” he added.

Happy Anniversary is the first film Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will star in after having a baby in 2011. “This is her comeback movie,” said Aboobaker, who heads up Mind Blowing Productions. Her last film was Guzaarish, released in 2010.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan gave birth to her first child, daughter Aaradhya Bachchan, on November 16, 2011.

Aboobaker said the Happy Anniversary shoot will last 105 days and will use locations in Durban and other parts of KwaZulu-Natal, including a stud farm in the Midlands. However, according to the Durban Film Office, location permits have not been issued yet as dates for shooting have not been confirmed.

The stars will be staying “somewhere in Umhlanga”, although Aboobaker would not identify the exact hotel. He said security was an issue and that given the stature of the stars “security would be at government level”.

However, the stars will be available to their fans and Aboobaker will be announcing the location for the shoot on a daily basis via local radio. “That’s another reason why security must be tight.”

Amitabh Bachchan first visited Durban in January 1991 with his show Jhumma Chumma, then on a world tour, the first ever live stadium event staged by Anant Singh’s Videovision Entertainment. Bachchan performed two sell-out shows in Durban and Johannesburg seen by almost 100 000 people.

In December 2002, Videovision Entertainment again teamed up with Bachchan to mount what was said to be the largest-ever live show featuring stars of Indian cinema. The show, Now or Never Live, saw Bachchan heading a stellar line-up that included Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Karisma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Sushmita Sen, Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty and Rani Mukherjee.

Staged at King’s Park stadium, the six-hour concert was seen by 50 000 people as well as being broadcast later by e-tv and SABC3.

Bachchan’s daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is no stranger to South Africa, which provided the launchpad for her film career after she shot to fame in 1994 after winning the Miss World title when the contest was at Sun City that year.

Both she and her husband Abhishek Bachchan are reported to have visited Durban several times incognito in the past on family holidays.

Previous reports said Aboobaker would be producing other Bollywood movies in South Africa this year, including Aankhen 2, featuring Priyanka Chopra. However, Aboobaker would not confirm this. He said he had seven productions lined up but would only confirm details at a later date.

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