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Richa Chadha roped in for 1990s B-grade star Shakeela's biopic

Shakeela was popular for starring in erotic films in various South Indian languages.

Suparna Thombare

In 2011, The Dirty Picture, starring Vidya Balan and loosely based on the life of actress Silk Smita, became a big hit. Now, another actress is set to star in a biopic on a popular star of B-grade erotic films from the 1990s.

Richa Chadha has signed on to play the title role of South Indian actress Shakeela, who was one of the popular actresses seen in several erotic films in various languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.

The biopic will follow the life of Shakeela from the time she entered the film business at the age of 16 and trace her journey from there. Shakeela became a rage, especially after the success of her Malayalam film Kinnara Thumbikal in 2000. Her films were dubbed in many languages across India and the world, inlcuding Chinese and Nepalese.

For the last 15 years though, Shakeela has moved on to doing comedy and family films.

Chadha will begin her preparation for the role very soon.

"The film is the story of Shakeela, one of the most famous actors from Malayalam cinema from the 1990s who rose to a spectacular amount of fame. Her fans were spread across Asia and she earned fanfare as a woman, which was unheard of. The film's script was exciting and is a great story to tell, and the story will make for a great watch for the audience. The preparations will begin soon, and the film should go on floors in end April or May," said the spokesperson.

The film, which does not have a title yet, will be directed by Indrajit Lankesh, who has made successful Kannada films like Thuntata (2001) and Aishwarya (2006), which marked the debut of actress Deepika Padukone.

The makers of the biopic are looking for an early 2019 release. Meanwhile, Chadha will be seen in Arjun Mukerjee's 3 Storeys and Sudhir Mishra's Daas Dev this year.