Govind Namdev to now essay the freedom fighter's role in an upcoming film after Om Puri opts out
Five months ago, a film on Chapekar Brothers was announced in which Om Puri was supposed to play the role of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. However, it has now emerged that the veteran actor has opted out of the film and the director, too, has been replaced.
Om Puri and Govind Namdev
Dhiraj Mishra, the film's writer, says, "We started shooting for the film a few months ago, but our director Milann Ajmera fell sick following which we had to halt the shoot for a few days. Since it was being delayed, we decided to replace him with Devendra Pandey. Later, when everything was going as per plan, we realised that Om Puri had date issues. We tried to sort things out and had a discussion with him, but it didn't work out. So, we had to sign Govind Namdev in his place."
A Marathi film on Chapekar Brothers, who contributed to India's freedom struggle in 1897, had been made 26 years ago. Dhiraj, however, insists that the upcoming film is completely different from the earlier one. He says he met the descendants of Tilak as well as the Chapekars as part of his research.
Says the writer, "I have spoken to them and they are aware that I am making a film in Hindi. They were happy that people will get to know about the Chapekars' unsung story. They gave me many important documents.
They even told me about a temple in Kalbadevi which belongs to the Chapekars and that there is a trust in their name which caters to fisherfolk's kids and florists in Mumbai. Whatever profit my film makes, 50 per cent of it will go to the trust."