Sports biopics have been a safe bet with Bollywood for quite a few years now - starting from the one on legendary athlete Milkha Singh, former Indian captain M.S. Dhoni or the upcoming ones on iconic women cricketers Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami.
However, there could be a real big one round the corner as the buzz is actor-producer Karan Johar is planning one on the quintessantial ‘Dada’ of Indian cricket: Sourav Ganguly.
The former Indian captain, who had taken over as the president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) late last year, has reportedly had a long chat with Johar at the Indian cricket headquarters during a visit to Mumbai earlier this month.
Though neither side has been ready to spill the beans, Ganguly is keen to see Hrithik Roshan - a favourite of his - in the lead role, if the project takes off.
When contacted, sources close to the former star told Gulf News: ‘‘Nothing has been finalised as yet. This is not the first time he has been the subject of such a project.’’
Incidentally, TV baroness Ekta Kapoor had earlier shown interest in producing a biopic on Ganguly, whose life had been a rollercoaster ride and provides a perfect script for a Bollywood product. A century on a dream Test debut at the Lord’s, marriage to his childhood beau Dona Ganguly amid major reservations in the family, elevation to Indian team’s captaincy at the height of the match-fixing scandal rocking Indian cricket, the humiliation of being dropped from the team before making his second comeback and eventually taking over the top job in Indian cricket administration - there is enough ammunition in the life of the 46-year-old as the recipe of a hit film.
There is a well crafted documentary so far on him, ‘Ganguly: The Warrior Prince,’ directed by Kolkata-based filmaker Mitali Ghoshal who later went on to make the critically acclaimed film ‘22 Yards.’
While the Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone starrer ‘83’ on the Kapil’s Devils has been much talked about, two more cricket biopics are currently in pipeline. ‘Shabaash Mithu,’ the one on Mithali Raj where Taapsee Pannu is playing the lead role, has released it’s poster recently. Mithali shared a poster on her Instagram account and wrote: “Thanks@taapsee!! Looking forward to you bringing life to my story on the big screen!”
In another fascinating project, the struggle and rags-to-riches story of Jhulan Goswami - the highest wicket-taker for India in One-day Internationals - will be brought to life by Prasit Roy. The two tentative titles for the film is ‘Chakdah Express’ or simply ‘Jhulan.’
Anushka Sharma, wife of Indian captain Virat Kohli, will be playing the lead of Goswami. The Bollywood A-lister was at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in January to shoot a promo of the film where screen grabs of her in the Indian blue shirt and Goswami together went viral - while the shooting of the film is yet to start.
Surely, these are exciting times if you are an Indian cricket fan!