Mani Ratnam with Aishwarya Rai
Mani Ratnam signs Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for his next movie?Varinder Chawla

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has reportedly been roped in for Mani Ratnam's next movie, which will be a period drama of Baahubali scale. Amitabh Bachchan along with some popular south stars may also be part of the big project.

It has been reported that Mani Ratnam approached Aishwarya for the female lead role in the historical drama, and the actress has already taken up the offer.

"It's a big-budget historical drama, which is being planned on the lines of the Baahubali franchise. It's likely to be a bilingual project and star several other big names from the South Indian film industry. Mani approached his muse Aishwarya for the female lead and she signed on the dotted line," DNA quoted a source as saying.

The report further stated that the movie will be based on Kalki Krishnamurthy's historical novel Ponniyin Selvan, and will be made on three instalments.

"There will be an ensemble cast. The actors have already been asked to give bulk dates and commit a few years to this film, as it will be made in several parts. The book has five volumes, but the makers are planning to conceptualise it as three instalments on screen," the source told the publication.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Cannes 2018
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.Getty Images

While Aishwarya has reportedly agreed to be a part of the big film, the director reportedly approached Amitabh also for a pivotal role, but he is yet to give his nod.

"Mani has narrated the script to Amitji. He is taking his time to decide whether he would like to do it. A confirmation from his end is yet to come but he has liked the idea," the source added.

The report stated that an official announcement is going to be made during the festival of Pongal (January 14).