Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, after playing Mumtaz for Sir Ben Kingsley’s Taj Mahal, might just do the role of Yashodhara — wife of Siddharth, known to the world as Lord Gautama Buddha, in an NRI’s film. Pan Nalin, who made the critically acclaimed Valley Of Flowers starring Milind Soman and his French wife Mylène Jampanoï, has reportedly been assured by Ash that she is keen to do the role.

“It’s a multi-billion dollar project and I’m backed by Oscar winning producer Barnet Bian and one of India’s top business houses which is getting into film production with this project. Aishwarya is just perfect for the role,” says Pan who is in Mumbai to convince the Bachchan bahu to do his film.

Ash apparently heard the story and asked Pan various technical questions and other logistics about the project. She wanted to see his earlier film and promised to get back to him. The highpoint of the meeting was when Ash is said to have asked Pan who will play Gautama Budha. The filmmaker says, “I replied ‘Abhishek Bachchan, isn’t he perfect for the role?’ Ash was zapped and told me to get in touch with her husband who is in Jaipur. My only concern is that Abhishek will have to shave off his head.”

Pan is aware that a couple of films on Buddha are already in the pipeline with Shekhar Kapoor and Shyam Benegal expressing interest in making them. “But my film will be different, it will be told from the point of Gautam Buddha’s wife, Yashodhara,” says the undeterred producer.

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