Akshay Kumar cast in 'Komagata Maru'
Canada-backed Deepa Mehta film requires local lead
Mehta originally intended Amitabh Bachchan to topline the $30 million drama, but had to back down because the Canadian government-financed picture requires a local lead.
Kumar ("Singh Is Kinng"), who has permanent resident status in Canada, stepped in to play the role of Gurdit Singh, a Sikh lawyer who represents the 376 passengers aboard the Komagata Maru.
Hamilton-Mehta Prods. will produce the Canadian drama in association with Kumar"s production shingle, Hariom Entertainment.
The film will begin shooting in September 2009 in locations internationally, with Mongrel Media handling Canadian distribution.