If you wonder what is Madhuri Dixit up to these days, this news is for you. Madhuri has signed a biopic based on the life of India’s first woman Prime Minister, late Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The Golden Globe nominated film maker Krishna Shah has roped in Madhuri to play the lead role in this project, which is very close to his heart.

Mr. Shah has won critical appreciation on the theatre stage as well as cinema in the West. His best known directorial ventures include ”Hard Rock Zombies”, “Cinema Cinema”, “American Drive-in” and “Shalimar”. It has been revealed that he has been working on the script of Mother: The Indira Gandhi Story for almost 23 years! Interestingly, this will be a 2-part biopic, covering the huge panorama of Indira’s life. Shah plans to release the first part of his film by 2011. The shooting for this film is expected to start in April 2010, covering locations across India, Pakistan, Russia, USA and UK.

In Shah’s words, “It’s such an exciting, dramatic story. The canvas of her life is too big to be contained in one film. It will be in Hinglish. This is the most ambitious project of my life. We are looking at a scale of Sir Attenborough’s Gandhi and are in conversations with various Bollywood and Hollywood studios to fund the production. I met Indira Gandhi twice, once as a student in America and then in India as a filmmaker and have followed her career all through my life. In 2001, a BBC poll voted her as the women of millennium kind of inspired me to make this film.” The crew plans to start working on the second part as soon as the first is completed. So we may expect Part 2 to release within months of the release of Part 1. The production budget is estimated to be around Rs. 200-300 crores. This may sound like a lot by India standards, but it is rather modest going by Hollywood standards.

While the role of the Iron Lady is being essayed by Madhuri, there will be other attractions in this project. Hollywood stars Tom Hanks and Tommy Lee Jones are expected to make an appearance along with Bollywood stars like Dharmendra, Abhay Deol and Nana Patekar. The cast surely sounds very exciting and combined with the plot, this should make for some very stimulating cinema.

It seems that Bollywood is all set to follow a trend of churning out movies based on politics. Prakash Jha’s “Rajneeti” is ready for release next year. Katrina Kaif plays a character inspired by Sonia Gandhi. And now Mads is all set to play mom-in-law Indira. Does this herald a new era in Bollywood, one which celebrates woman power-finally?

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