The Ranveer Singh-starrer 83, based on India’s first-ever cricket World Cup victory in 1983, is being billed as one of the biggest releases of this year, as Bollywood business tries to carefully return to normalcy, and not surprisingly so.
India is a cricket-crazy nation, and when one of Bollywood’s reigning superstars plays Kapil Dev in a film about the country’s first great moment of honour in the sport, it is bound to trigger passion. Then, there is Shabaash Mithu, starring Taapsee Pannu as Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women’s team, besides the Shahid Kapoor-starrer Jersey.
What is notable is films based on non-cricket sports, which are gradually being attempted in Bollywood, continue to rise in numbers this year, too. Over the next months, Bollywood stars will engage in subjects around multiple sports, to cater to varying tastes.
Here’s a look at Bollywood’s sports roster in the months ahead:
The anticipated period sports drama starring Ajay Devgn is inspired by the true story of Indian football coach Syed Abdul Rahim. Major portions of the film have been shot across Lucknow, Kolkata and Mumbai. Maidaan is slated to hit theatres on October 15. The film, directed by Amit Ravindernath Sharma, also features Priyamani, Gajraj Rao and Rudranil Ghosh.
Taapsee Pannu will be seen in a never-before avatar of a runner in this sports drama. The actor recently finished shooting for the Jharkhand schedule of the film which narrates the journey of an athlete. Priyanshu Painyuli plays Taapsee’s husband in the Akarsh Khurana directorial.
Amitabh Bachchan will essay a role based on Slum Soccer founder Vijay Barse in this upcoming sports drama. The film narrates the story of a professor who encourages street children to build a football team, in order to help them find a purpose in life. The film is directed by Sairat maker Nagraj Manjule.
Parineeti Chopra reprises Badminton star Saina Nehwal in the biopic helmed by Amol Gupte. Manav Kaul essays the role of Nehwal’s coach Pullela Gopichand in the sports drama, which also features Paresh Rawal.
Farhan Akhtar collaborates with director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra for a new sports drama after the 2013 hit film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. In Toofan, Farhan will be seen in the avatar of a boxer and has bulked up for the role. Paresh Rawal, Mrunal Thakur and Isha Talwar are also a part of the cast.
Sanjay Dutt features in this just-announced film which will showcase the journey of a snooker champion. Written and directed by Mridul, Toolsidas Junior stars child actor Varun Buddhadev and Rajiv Kapoor alongside Dutt. The poster of the film describes it as an “exciting and inspiring sports drama” and also heightens curiosity of the viewers with the tagline: “Bachcha hai, phaad dega”.
Vishwanathan Anand Biopic
Aanand L Rai’s yet-untitled film was announced just a month ago, and will narrate the journey of Indian chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand. Speculative reports suggest that Tamil star Dhanush might play the chess grandmaster in his biopic, but no official announcement has been made yet.