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Anthony D'Souza to helm Azhar biopic

It's official. Producers of the Mohammed Azharuddin biopic have zeroed in on Anthony D'Souza to helm the project, ending months of uncertainty surrounding the director's chair.

Anthony D'Souza and (inset) ex cricketer, Mohammed Azharuddin
Anthony D'Souza and (inset) ex cricketer, Mohammed Azharuddin 

Tanuj Garg, CEO, Balaji Motion Pictures, says, "Tony (D'Souza) has a strong command over technique, and his commercial sensibilities give him a grasp on emotion, which will make this human drama a good blend of style and substance."

An industry insider says it was D'Souza's closeness with the former Indian cricket skipper that earned him the project that will go on floor in May 2015.

"He has known Azhar for many years and that proximity helps when it comes to dealing with someone's personal life. Since Azhar is comfortable with D'Souza, the producer has chosen him to direct the film.

Besides, the fact that Azhar and Tony are friends also helps the latter in drawing a lot of details from the ex-cricketer's life," the source adds.

Azharuddin's story qualifies as a spicy recipe for a Bollywood potboiler, given the drama in his personal and professional life.

A source says, "It is going to be a human drama but will also be commercial entertainer, which is why Emraan Hashmi has been cast in the film.

Azhar is the probably the only cricketer who has had the most colourful life that needs to be told to the world — from being one of the most successful captains of his time and then being implicated in the match fixing scandal in 2000, to his link-ups and marriage to actress Sangeeta Bijlani. He will be closely involved with the project."

Emraan Hashmi will undergo extensive training to prep up. The source adds, "He will learn Azhar's demeanour and also use prosthetic make-up."

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