The admired, popular mausoleum will finally have its own story, with two big names starring in for sure. Yes, Ben Kingsley has revealed to the Times of India that he is set to act opposite Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai in a film feature about Taj Mahal.
"The movie is on the building of the Taj Mahal," the Oscar winner remarked, adding "I had spoken to Aishwarya last year while we were working on The Last Legion and she very generously agreed to do the movie with me."
Here Kingsley is poised to play Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan while Rai will be his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, upon whose death the grief-stricken ruler built the Taj in 1648. Kingsley has been noticed to also say that the romantic drama will also include the Shah's abject isolation for years in a prison cell.
Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan's third wife, died in her struggle to give birth to their fourteenth child, Gauhara Begum, in 1631. Soon after her death, the construction of Taj Mahal began with surrounding buildings and garden being finished in 1653. At present day, the mausoleum has become the most popular tourist attraction in India, drawing in 2 to 3 million visitors every year.
As for Kingsley, the actor has indeed been pretty busy lately, already lined up handfuls of future film projects in his resume, such as "The Wackness", "Elegy", and "Will (2009/II)." The latter one, which will see him both star and produce, is an adaptation of the Christopher Rush novel telling about fictional deathbed meeting William Shakespeare held with his lawyer to discuss his last will and testament.