Billu Barber (Hindi: Ã Â¤Â¬Ã Â¤Â¿Ã Â¤Â²Ã Â¥ÂÃ Â¤Â²Ã Â¥â€š Ã Â¤Â¬Ã Â¤Â¾Ã Â¤Â°Ã Â¥ÂÃ Â¤Â¬Ã Â¤Â°, Urdu: Ã˜Â¨Ã™ÂÃ™â€žÃ™â€˜Ã™Ë† Ã˜Â¨Ã˜Â§Ã˜Â±Ã˜Â¨Ã˜Â±) is an upcoming Bollywood film by Priyadarshan; starring Irrfan Khan and Lara Dutta in the lead roles, and Shahrukh Khan in a cameo role of a movie star. The film also features Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav and Asrani in supporting roles with guest appearances by actresses Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra. The film, which is a remake of the hugely successful Malayalam film Kadha Parayumbol, has already been remade in Tamil as Kuselan but met a poor box office reception. The film is scheduled to release on February 13, 2009.
The story is set in today's day and age. Billu (Irrfan Khan) plays a village barber. His business is running low because he has not been able to upgrade himself according to the changing trends. One fine day, a film unit visits his village to shoot a movie. It stars a superstar, Sahir Khan (Shahrukh Khan), who Billu claims to have been friends with. All at once, Billu's status in the village changes, and he becomes highly respected. Everyone wants him to meet the superstar through Billu. But Billu is unsure, as he feels he cannot compare to the superstar's status. Besides, he fears that the star may not recognize him. He makes many attempts to meet the star but fails. After all these hardships, he gives up. The villages believe he lied about the relationship with the star and insult him. His family and children also get upset and badmouth him. In a twist towards the end, the true extent of the friendship Billu and the superstar is revealed.
Director Priyadarshan signed on actors Shahrukh Khan and Lara Dutta to essay pivotal roles in the film. Initially, these roles were offered to Akshay Kumar and Tabu. However, Kumar didn't find the film interesting and opted out of the project whilst Tabu refused the film as she didn't want to work with Irrfan Khan. The director then offered Kumar's and Tabu's role to Shahrukh Khan and Amisha Patel respectively, and both of them agreed to do the film.
Patel later opted out of the film as she felt her character's role was not substantial enough and sources had indicated that Juhi Chawla was signed on for the role. In April 2008, the director announced that he had signed on Lara Dutta to essay the role of the barber's wife. The cast began filming for the project on April 8, 2008 and according to Shahrukh Khan, "the film is a sweet story of friendship...quite similar to the bond shared between Krishna and Sudama." The film also features Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra & Deepika Padukone, who are reportedly doing item numbers in the film.