'Jodhaa Akbar' set to hit screens on Feb 15

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Mumbai,Jan 10 (UNI) Ashutosh Gowarikar's ''Jodha Akbar'' starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is all set for a worldwide release on February 15.

It was first scheduled for a release on October 12, 2007 and later January 25, 2008.

Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowarikar said the delay in the threatical release of his film was not related to any actor or technician.

''The sheer magnitude and canvas of the movie was such that it took more time than expected and later my back gave in,'' Ashutosh said at the star studded music launch of the film here last night.

It was reported in a section of the media that the delay was caused due to Aishwarya's wish that her first release after marriage should be Ram Gopal Varma's 'Sarkar Raj' where she will be seen opposite her husband Abhishek Bachchan and father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan.

Ashutosh praised his lead cast Hrithik, Aisharya and the entire crew whom he called ''warriors''. ''Hrithik and Ash are not only the finest actors but also very resilient having put up brilliant performances despite all odds,'' he said.

Amitabh is the latest to be associated with the film, giving a voice-over like he had done for ''Lagaan''. Speaking on the occasion, Big B said he would complete the voice-over in the next few days.

Hrithik and Aishwarya described the experience of being associated with such a mammoth project as ''fulfilling''. The charismatic duo was last seen in 2006's runaway hit ''Dhoom 2''.

''Jodhaa Akbar is a completely different genre. It is always a pleasure working with Hrithik,'' Aishwarya said.

The music was lauched by Jaipur Royals Maharaja Bhawani Singh and Maharani Padmini Devi, descendents of Princess Jodhaa of Amer royal family. Speaking on the occasion, Maharani Padmini Devi said Ashutosh has been authentic and particular about Rajput's history.

''He has involved us in this project from the start of the concept. Our alliance with the Moghuls gave secularism to society,'' she added.

Lyricist Javed Akhtar said a film like ''Jodhaa Akbar'' was required in the present time. ''We all know about Akbar vaguely. When Europe had not heard about secularism 500 years ago, here was an Emperor who preached and practiced it. He was a symbol of Indian ethos. It is significant that Jodhaa never converted to Islam,'' he added.

UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala, who has co-produced the film with Ashutosh, said it was for the first time that a film of this canvas had been visualised. ''Such a film has not been seen for a very long time,'' he said.

Punam S Sinha, wife of actor-MP Shatrughan Sinha who plays Akbar's mother in the film, said she was happy to be back in front of the camera after several decades. Punam, Sonu Sood, Kulbhushan Kharbanda and other actors were also present on the occasion.

Apart from the cast and crew, Shatrughan Sinha, Hrithik's wife Suzzane, her actor brother Zayed Khan, father Sanjay Khan and uncle Akbar Khan were also present.

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