Imagine this: A big-budget, spectacular drama starring Aamir Khan, presented by Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle and directed by maverick filmmakers Anurag Kashyap.
Had the stars aligned perfectly, the film Blue Velvet would have been in theatres worldwide just as the book Mumbai Fables that inspired it -- and is written by Princeton University professor Gyan Prakash -- is finding its way into thousands of bookshops across America, Canada and several other countries.
The book cannot have the line, 'Soon to be a major motion picture' for a good reason.
"The book and the film were to be released around the same time," said Kashyap with a sigh in an interview during the recently concluded Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) where his film That Girl in Yellow Boots was shown.
Gyan Prakash has been working on Mumbai Fables for nearly a decade, and it drew the attention of his many friends in Bollywood, including Rohan Sippy. But it was Kashyap who was more determined to make it into a film.
The book, according to publisher Princeton University Press, 'explores the mythic inner life of this legendary city as seen by its inhabitants, journalists, planners, writers, artists, filmmakers, and political activists.'
Though many people think Blue Velvet is going to be the next film Kashyap is making, and the TIFF book also says so, the filmmaker is candid about why the project could take several years.
"Both Aamir and Danny Boyle want to help me make it," he says with a sigh. "But I have not locked the script as yet."
Aamir, who is a great admirer of Kashyap's Black Friday, and Boyle who has said he found Kashyap's films inspirational for certain sequences in Slumdog Millionaire, have not committed themselves to the project on paper.
And then there is the question of money. "It is going to be a very big project, a very expensive film," Kashyap adds. "It is going to cost at least four times the previous eight films cost." By a simple reckoning, it would be at least $20 million.
But he feels once the script is locked, his stars could change. "I am solely responsible for not finalising the script," he says. "It will be my big priority in the next few months."