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Look Who’s Afraid of Dostana-II

Rajeev Masand is entertainment editor at CNN News18
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Look Who’s Afraid of Dostana-II • Salman Intervenes. Again • Third Divorce and a Wedding

Few Hindi films, aside from My Brother Nikhil, have delved into gay themes sensitively or effectively. For the most part, homosexuality remains a prickly subject for Bollywood.

The makers of Dostana, that mock-gay comedy of 2008, may have discovered this the hard way. According to industry sources, a planned sequel of the Abhishek Bachchan-John Abraham hit is likely to be shelved because producer Karan Johar and director Tarun Mansukhani are finding it hard to cast actors willing to play gay characters.

It appears that Abhay Deol, Ritesh Deshmukh, Dino Morea and Arjun Rampal were individually approached, but each declined politely. None of them felt comfortable playing a ‘real gay’ character opposite Abhishek and John who were slated to reprise their ‘pretend gay’ roles in the sequel.

There have been rumours of script problems as well. It was initially learnt that Abhishek wasn’t thrilled with Tarun’s script. Now one hears Johar has issues with it too. The heroes, along with leading lady Katrina Kaif, had allotted bulk shooting dates for a London schedule that has been twice cancelled already. Tarun, meanwhile, has reportedly been advised to get cracking on an entirely new script.

Salman Intervenes. Again

Bollywood is buzzing with rumours that Ranbir Kapoor has been personally calling up producers recommending his new girlfriend Nargis Fakhri for forthcoming projects. Sajid Nadiadwala isn’t denying that the actor called him up and urged him to suggest Nargis for Laila Majnu, which Nadiadwala is producing with Shahid Kapoor in the lead.

Meanwhile, sources say Katrina Kaif is heartbroken over her split with Ranbir.

It appears that Ranbir called it off with Katrina when he learnt that she secretly visited her ex Salman Khan in Pune while the actor was shooting there with Kareena Kapoor for Bodyguard recently. Ranbir learnt that Katrina travelled to Pune in a small car, intentionally ditching her own wheels so her visit could stay discreet. Alas, word reached Ranbir—and one source tells me it was Salman himself who made sure that details of Katrina’s visit found their way to RK Junior. What followed, reportedly, was a screaming match between Ranbir and Katrina, which ended with Ranbir breaking up with her.

But it isn’t the first time the star couple has fought over Salman, one hears. The last time Salman dropped in on a set to say hello to Katrina a few months ago, Ranbir lost his temper and called it off with the actress. But Katrina allegedly won back Ranbir after giving a spate of interviews insisting she was no longer with Salman, and after convincing Ranbir she was exclusively with him.

Ranbir’s father Rishi Kapoor has openly said he prefers Katrina over Ranbir’s ex Deepika, and this even before Deepika went on Koffee With Karan and made those jokes about Ranbir. His mother seems fond of Nargis, whom she has been spending time with lately.

Must be hard for the young man himself. So many women, so little time!

Third Divorce and a Wedding

When the paparazzi sneaked photographs of them leaving a Goa restaurant together recently, it became the first real confirmation that this popular leading lady and a prominent studio head were indeed dating. They are believed to have met and become close friends while she was shooting for a film he was a producer of, recently.

Now she giggles coyly each time she’s asked about the status of her relationship with him, neither confirming nor denying the alleged romance. Meanwhile, executives who work closely with him at the studio insist the twice-married honcho is irreparably smitten. Marriage talk has begun doing the rounds already, but it appears the couple is waiting for his second divorce to come through in July before they make any official announcement.