A long time ago, director Raaj Shaandilyaa presented producer Sandeep Singh with the storyline for Vande Bharatam, the latter’s directorial debut that was slated to star Sushant Singh Rajput. The Dream Girl filmmaker says he did not know the lead actor that Sandeep had chosen.
“I had briefly discussed this concept in 2015-16 to this producer and the story was finalised by 2017/18. He had informed me that he was going to narrate this story to one hero and shall give me a surprise about who it is,” he reveals, adding, “I was unaware of the fact that this producer had narrated Vande Bharatam to the late Sushant Singh Rajput. He informed me about this development just 3-4 days prior to today, as Sushant had liked the story very much. But unfortunately, this could not happen.”
When asked who the makers are planning to replace Sushant with, Raaj reveals that he has some names in mind. “Frankly speaking, we have not spoken to anyone owing to the situation. I feel actors like Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao and Vicky Kaushal fit the bill. Whoever fits in and will also understand our subject will be our male lead for Vande Bhartam. This film does not have any Bihari tone,” he says.
Telling us more about the project itself, Raaj reveals, “Vande Bharatam is a patriotic satire in the humour space, it is not based on politics. This will showcase the problems that are prevalent in our country.”
The national problems in question include access to utilities like water and electricity.
“The story is about how the male lead will handle these problems and bring forth some necessary options. In my story, we will also highlight the reasons for the existence of all these problems. Why is our country not progressing? All these queries form the crux of Vande Bharatam,” he shares before signing off.
It remains to be seen who will be the replacement for Sushant, whose untimely death on June 14 has brought the nation to tears....