Ben Kingsley builds the Taj Mahal
It's not too often that a project gets everything together before a director, but when there's a big name actor like Ben Kingsley involved in the production as well as taking such an iconic lead, anything is possible.
Kingsley is set to play Shah Jahan, the man who built the Taj Mahal after his favoured wife died during childbirth, and the former Miss World and Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is set to play the woman who inspired the building, Mumtaz Mahal. That Kingsley is a lucky man.
It gets even better for Ben Kingsley when we hear who will be appearing as the first wife of Jahan, Persian princess Kandahari Begum, the Brazilian actress Daniela Lavender, the wife of the man himself. Wow, between his stunning wife, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, the Taj Mahal and the backdrop of India, Taj is going to look gorgeous.
The story had been going around but has just been confirmed by SBK Pictures alongside a statement by Kingsley through The Guardian.
"With my passion for India and the Taj Mahal now becoming one of the seven wonders of the World, I am compelled to ask 'why' and 'how' this scream of grief frozen in marble came into being…It is an indelible monument to passion and love. How did the building evolve in the first place, that is the question we're looking at."
Investors are being sought at the moment, but considering the cast that has been secured and Kingsley's memorable performance as Ghandi, there seems little doubt that the financing and the director will be found. Mind you, considering the problems Joe Wright encountered trying to film Indian Summer it might not all be plain sailing. That said, just look at Kingsley's sailing companions.
Kinglsey plays Shah Jahan, the man who ruled the Mongul empire from 1628 to 1658 when he was desposed by his son and lived in the citadel of Agra until his death, but his crowning achievement was not to unite the vast empire which almost spanned the entire continent of India, but the building of the Taj Mahal which took some twenty-two years and was built as a memorium to his wife and child.
It will be another epic for the actor, I do hope that they get a strong director and free reign to film.