Mukesh Chhabra’s reputation precedes him. Known for spotting new talent, the casting director is credited for scouting Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkummar Rao and Amit Sadh for Abhishek Kapoor’s ‘Kai Po Che!’, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi and Richa Chadha for Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, and more recently, Harshaali “Munni” Malhotra for Kabir Khan’s ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’.
Now, Chhabra is ready to roll with a film of his own. “It is a romance-action musical and has been in the pipeline for a while. Mukesh would discuss it with all the directors he works with and shared a copy with Anurag Kashyap earlier this year,” a source close to Chhabra said.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali, whose Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone-Priyanka Chopra-starrer ‘Bajirao Mastani’ has set the cash registers ringing, is producing Chhabra’s directorial debut. The film introduces Vinod Khanna’s youngest son, the 24-year-old Sakshi Khanna. The youngster has assisted Bhansali on ‘Bajirao Mastani’ and Milan Luthria earlier on his 2010 gangster-drama, ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai’.
“The script was supervised by Bhansali. He green-lit the project under his own banner. The film rolls this February,” the source added. Sakshi has grown out his wavy locks to prep for his debut and has been brushing up his acting skills for three years now. He is currently undergoing a gruelling workshop at Chhabra’s office.
Before Sakshi, Bhansali launched two star kids Sonam Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor (‘Saawariya’, 2007) who had previously assisted him on ‘Black’ (2005). When contacted, Chhabra confirmed the news but refused to divulge details, saying it was too early to discuss the film.