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Big B as Rabindranath Tagore in a english film - Mr.Bhat - 07-22-2010

Together, they gave the world thrilling action by "angry, young man". The years may have dimmed the fire, but not the creativity. Now, Javed Akhtar of the famous Salim-Javed duo is writing the screenplay for a Rabindranath Tagore biopic that may see a mellow Amitabh Bachchan in the lead.

The English film, Akhtar's brainchild, will be directed by Mumbai-based Ujjwal Chatterjee. It is slated to be ready by end 2010 and will be a fitting tribute to the poet on his 150th birth anniversary. The working title is 'The Sound of Silence', after the Simon and Garfunkel song. The film will focus on the last 20 years of Tagore's life.

If Amitabh does finally come on board, it will be his first film with Javed Akhtar as a writer in nearly three decades. The last film that saw them working together was the 1982 superhit 'Shakti'. Akhtar was still part of the Salim-Javed team and Amitabh the angry, young man.

For the Tagore film, Akhtar first asked Chatterjee to help him at the beginning of the year. It was initially decided that they would convert Tagore's novel 'Shesher Kobita' into a film with Priyanka Chopra playing Labonya and Ranvir Kapoor as Amit Ray. Priyanka apparently accepted the proposal but said she would not be able to give dates before Nov.

"This left Akhtar itching to do something else and the idea of the biopic germinated. We decided to look at Tagore's life after he turned 60, until his death in 1941. We will see Tagore from the perspective of his son Rathindranath Tagore, his daughter-in-law Protima Tagore and C F Andrews, who had worked with both Gandhi and Tagore," said Chatterjee.

Speaking to TOI from Mumbai, Akhtar confirmed he will write the screenplay and dialogues for the film based on a story which is being prepared jointly by Tagore scholars William Radice and Nilanjan Bandyopadhyay. "This is an extremely serious project and I will start writing the screenplay and dialogues after I get the research material from scholars working at archives in Santiniketan and elsewhere. I will have to study each detail carefully because I will be handling an icon like Tagore," Akhtar said.