Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi is to play the lead Indian role in Roland Joffe's upcoming The Invaders, which is due to shoot in India later this year.

Oberoi is one of India's fastest-rising stars, having been catapulted to stardom by his debut film, Company, which was released in India last April and recently screened in the Berlin Forum. He is known to Hindi fans as 'the Road boy', for his role in last year's hit thriller of the same name.

And, according to local Indian reports, he is to be joined by Aishwarya Rai in the female lead role.

The producer is Ajey Jhankar of Neelmudra Entertainment, together with former ICM exec Peter Rawley.

Oberoi will play Udaji, a Marathi warrior who led the last successful Indian military campaign against the British in the 18th century, as the colonisation process and the expansion of the East India Company briefly stalled. The film will be shot in English and Hindi and dubbed into Marathi, with the major English-language roles yet to be cast.

"It tells of an undocumented part of Indian history," said Oberoi during a whirlwind trip to Berlin to promote Company. "Marathi historians recently discovered the records and this will be the first time the story has been fully told."

The $40m The Invader is one of several big-budget international movies due to be shot in India in the coming year.