Ben Kingsley to Play Another Famous Indian Luminary in Taj

November 29, 2009
Source: The Guardian

Taj Mahal

Back in 1982, Ben Kingsley gave a world renowned Oscar winning performance playing Gandhi in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi. He's never played him again, and probably never will, leaving that performance to live on forever. However, according to The Guardian, Kingsley is now attached to play another "instrumental figure in Indian history" as Shah Jahan, the man who built the Taj Mahal back in the 1600s. SBK Pictures, Kingsley's company, made the announcement recently and confirmed that Kingsley would be producing as well. Taj, as the project will be titled, will have a $25 to $30 million budget (which is pretty big for India).

"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," Kingsley said in the statement. "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."

The screenplay for Taj was written by British playwright and novelist David Ashton. Shooting is supposed to start next fall, however they don't have a director yet. SBK will be meeting with Indian investors next month to secure financing. In addition to Kinglsey, Taj will star Indian superstar and Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Mumtaz Mahal, Jahan's "favored wife" and the woman whose death in childbirth inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal between 1632 and 1654. Kingsley's wife, Brazilian actor Daniela Lavender, will also play Persian princess Kandahari Begum, Jahan's first wife. We'll keep you updated on this project.

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Reader Feedback - 9 Comments


I hope they don't make a boring, long epic about some king's desire to make a monument.

Nishit Mohan Singh on Nov 29, 2009


Just my opinion : I think Ben Kingsley killed his name and his history by making some Bullsh** movies as : BloodRayne , The Love Guru , War, Inc. ... I am just surprised how some times these big names are doing such movies ...!!! .. The same happen to Al Pacino and De Niro ... when they made (Righteous Kill) ... They don't read the script !!?? ... They need money ..!!!??? ... Why in hell they make such movies !!?? ..

Shero on Nov 29, 2009


this sort of film dose not intrest me at all boaring 🙁

Cineprog on Nov 29, 2009


Shero, Kingsley may want to do a comedy or silly movie sometimes just to remind people he has range and to remind people he is not Gandhi. The easy paychecks are also very nice which any actor would accept.

Phil on Nov 29, 2009


Why is it so hard to find an Indian actor to play an Indian?

Yousaf on Nov 29, 2009


ben kinglsey is indian...

monal on Nov 29, 2009


Have any of you detractors actually seen the Taj Mahal? It defies words attempting to describe it. When you catch your first view of it, your breath is taken away and your heart stops beating for just a second. No matter how many people are there... Ben Kingsley was born in India. With luck, this movie will shine a spotlight on this monument; and create efforts to save it. India needs help-help for its history, help for its people, help for its land. Help to see that by not doing anything to improve the area surrounding this most beautiful of all man-made structures, that India, in effect, is ensuring its demise.

Denise on Dec 13, 2009


At #6 Ben Kinglsey is listed by IMDB as being born in "Scarborough/ Yorkshire/ England/ UK"

Marble Care Toronto on Feb 17, 2010


ben kingsley IS indian. in the same way obama is a black man. ben's dad is indian, his mom is white. his real name is KRISHNA BHANJI.

as on Mar 6, 2011

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