After much speculation, debate and controversy, the film Dream Sequence, to be produced by Ekta Kapoor and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, has been put on hold.
Says a source, "Right from day one, Dream Sequence (Jaagte Raho) was ridden with problems. Initially, Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone were to play the lead but first Saif and later Deepika distanced themselves from the project. At one point, Abhay Deol was to fill in for Saif, who then showed a renewed interest in doing the part, and then had second thoughts for the second time."
While the hunt for the cast was on, Bhardwaj was offered the opportunity to direct Shahrukh Khan in the film adaption of Chetan Bhagat's Two States, and that became the priority, as the director has never made a comedy before.
Ekta's film was to go on floors first but Bhardwaj gave away his dates to SRK. Says an insider, "Saif wanted top actresses like Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif or Priyanka Chopra to co-star with him, so Dream Sequence has been put on hold for some time.
“Vishal had his own casting issues and between the wish list and permutation-combination of the two actresses, the chances of taking the film to the floors only got dimmer as time passed. Vishal is very upset with Saif as he feels it's because of him that Dream Sequence has been put on hold."
Another reason for the film not taking off, is that it is very similar to Inception, even though Vishal swears he had written his story before Christopher Nolan made his Hollywood hit.
Adds the source, "And to top it all, the film was becoming too expensive and the project wasn't seeming commercially viable. Balaji Motion Pictures is a conservative company and they weren't sure if they could risk an experimental film with a big star at a big cost, and so Ekta has now postponed the film indefinitely."
While the shooting of Two States begins in May, Ekta will start another film in March with Vishal's assistant at the helm.
Bhardwaj and Saif Ali Khan remained unavailable for comment.