x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Deepika Padukone opts out of Fast & Furious 7, Breaking Bad gets a spin-off and Shahid Kapoor to play the Dane.

The Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, right, with his wife Gauri. Kin Cheung / AP Photo
The Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, right, with his wife Gauri. Kin Cheung / AP Photo

Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri, who recently had a child through surrogacy, have been cleared by the Mumbai High Court of predetermining the baby’s gender, The Indian Express reported. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation told the court that there had been no violation of the Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act on the actor’s part. The complaint was filed by the social activist Varsha Deshpande, who accused the high-profile couple of determining the gender of their third child. Such gender-determination tests are illegal in India. The couple’s baby boy, AbRam, was born on May 27. – The National staff

Deepika Padukone opts out of Fast & Furious 7

The Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, who had successfully auditioned for a role in the forthcoming film Fast & Furious 7, has apparently decided to opt out of the project because of date issues, The Times of India reported. The actress, who was asked for dates from September 2013 to January 2014, is currently in Dubai, filming Farah Khan’s Happy New Year with Shah Rukh Khan and Abhishek Bachchan. Padukone had edged out Kangana Ranaut and Chitrangda Singh to star in the Hollywood action film. – The National staff

Kristen Stewart hangs out with Middle East royalty

In an interview about the Toronto International Film Festival debut of 12.12.12, a documentary about the Hurricane Sandy relief concert, Miramax Films’ co-founder Harvey Weinstein told The New York Times he once managed to convince the Twilight star Kristen Stewart to hang out with a prince from an unidentified country in the Middle East to raise cash for the cause. The price? It was the equivalent of Dh1.8 million, all delivered in advance. “And Kristen sits with the guy for 15 minutes,” Weinstein told the newspaper. – The National staff

Breaking Bad fans to be treated to a spin-off

Breaking Bad fans can at least know one thing about this bloodbath of a show: one of their favourite characters is getting a show of his own. AMC has approved a spin-off prequel for the colourful Saul Goodman, the sleazy lawyer to Bryan Cranston’s meth dealer kingpin Walter White. Played by Bob Odenkirk, Goodman was last seen sporting black eyes and a broken nose, telling White’s innocent teenager son: “Don’t drink and drive. But if you do, call me.” The show’s working title Better Call Saul refers to the tagline in the character’s tacky TV commercials. – The National staff

Former Canadian PM slams Ben Affleck’s Argo

Decades after a former Canadian ambassador protected Americans during the 1979 Iran hostage ­crisis, “the truth is a better story” than Ben Affleck’s Oscar-winning ­picture Argo, according to Joe Clark, Canada’s prime minister at the time. Clark made the remarks at a screening of the documentary Our Man in Tehran at the Toronto International Film Festival. Argo came under criticism from some Canadians, including the former ­ambassador Ken Taylor, who said he felt slighted by Argo because it makes Canada look like a meek observer to CIA heroics. – ­Associated Press

Shahid Kapoor to star in Bollywood take on Hamlet

Vishal Bhardwaj has signed up Shahid Kapoor for his next film, based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The filmmaker and Kapoor last worked together in the blockbuster drama Kaminey (2009), in which the actor took on a double role. “Yes, I have been confirmed just a few days back. This will be my second movie with Bhardwaj. It will challenge me as an actor,” Kapoor said. His latest film Phata Poster Nikla Hero will be out in the UAE on Thursday. – The National staff