Filmmaker Siddharth Roy Kapur’s biopic Salute on cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma still hangs in space. After Aamir Khan pulled out for reasons unexplained, Siddharth reportedly sent feelers to Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor to play the role of the inspiring cosmonaut. In April 1984, Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to fly into space. He was aboard the Soyuz T-11 as part of an Intercosmos programme.
The biopic was to be titled Saare Jahaan Se Accha – which was Rakesh Sharma’s patriotic response to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi when she asked him how India looked from outer space. But the title got changed to Salute when Aamir came on board. The actor was to star in and co-produce Salute with Siddharth’s newly launched banner RK Films and the film was to be directed by Mahesh Mathai.
But all that has changed with Aamir backing out. Undeterred, Siddharth reportedly took the biopic to Ranveer and Ranbir. But both actors showed no interest in playing Rakesh Sharma. And now there is a strong buzz that Siddharth is trying to get Shah Rukh Khan to do Salute with him. Bollywood trade pundits are excited about the possibility of SRK doing the cosmonaut’s role.
When Aamir was on board, Siddharth was said to be considering Priyanka Sharma for the role of Mrs. Rakesh Sharma. That would have been a brand new pairing. But Bollywood sources also say that SRK and Priyanka make a sensational couple on screen and the actors have not been seen together since Don 2 in 2011.
It is not known if Priyanka, who is busy in Hollywood, agreed to do Salute because of Aamir. And whether she will still be agreeable to do the film with SRK. Her mother Madhu Chopra, who manages Priyanka’s business, has denied the rumour that the actress is doing Salute. Priyanka, incidentally, was also said to in talks earlier to star in another space biopic, this one being on the Indian-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster of February 2003.