Pradeep Sarkar is all set to direct his next biopic on the life of 19th century Bengali courtesan-turned-theatre actress-singer, Binodini Dasi, also known as Nati Binodini, who ruled the Kolkata stage for over a decade, under the tutelage of the famous actor and playwright Girish Chandra Ghosh.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Pradeep Sarkar who will be directing the film has roped in Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for the role. If she goes ahead, it will be her next Bollywood movie after Fanney Khan (2018).  According to a report in Bollywood Hungama, "Aishwarya has given a verbal nod to the film as she has liked the story. The final script is getting locked and she has given a verbal nod to it. The script is also in the final draft now and the paperwork with Aishwarya is left."

But the initial choice for Binodini Dasi was not Aishwarya Rai but Deepika Padukone. A trade source said, "Nati Binodini played more than 80 roles in different plays and was among the first generation of actresses on the Kolkata stage in the 19th century. She retired from the stage at the age of 25, got married and returned years later as a singer."

Movie covers Binodini Dasi life over a period of time

"It's a role any actress would love to play as the movie covers the courtesan's age over a period of time – from when she was a courtesan, became a theatre actress, to her marriage and came back as a singer. The makers met Deepika a couple of months ago to give her a story narration. She liked the story and agreed to read the script." 

Still from Ramleela
Still from RamleelaPinterest

"But then she got busy with Chhapaak promotions and kept them hanging in limbo saying that she would get back to them. Finally, her team reverted after more than a month saying that she couldn't do the movie as she wanted to do light-hearted subjects and not heavy or serious movies, which would consume her emotionally."

Deepika Padukone who is celebrating the success of her last release 'Chhapaak' is drained doing emotional films and is looking forward to some rom-com and massy films. 

Speaking about Binodini Das, the film will be made in Hindi. While a Bengali movie, documentary and play has been made on her life, this will be the first time that a movie will be made in Hindi. While Nati Binodini's life history is in public domain, the movie will also have chapters from Binodini's autobiography, Amar Katha, which recounts her life story and talks about the men in her life. The book rights are with Vasant Thakkar.