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How Charles Sobhraj escaped Tihar

Producer Kumar Mangat, whose last two films Pyaar Ka Punchnaama and Bittoo Boss have spotlighted fresh talent, is all set to produce a film based on the life and alleged crimes of Charles Sobhraj.

The film, which will be a mega-budget adventure thriller, has been budgeted at Rs 40 crore. This is the same movie that Prawaal Raman was to direct with Sanjay Dutt in the lead, but was later was shelved. Mangat’s son Abhishek Pathak, who will officially produce the film, admitted that this is the same project Raman once planned with Dutt.

“We went through the vast research that Prawaal did on Sobhraj and added our information to it. Raman will direct the biopic. We’re looking at Emraan Hashmi or Saif Ali Khan to replace Dutt,” says Pathak.

The makers have also found a way out of the legal tangle of making a film on the controversial Sobhraj. They will not officially declare it to be a Charles Sobhraj biopic, but a film inspired by certain incidents in Sobhraj’s life. “We’ll get rid of the original title Charles and call the film Jailbreak. Sobhraj’s 1986 jailbreak from Tihar will be the core of the film,” says Raman.

The cops involved in the arrest — Amod Kanth and Madhurkar Zende — seem far more inspiring to Raman than Sobhraj himself. “There will be three main male characters in Jailbreak. A man who spent 40 years of his life in prison doesn’t really interest me enough to base an entire film on,” says Raman.

“The film’s Sobhraj will be an enigmatic criminal, too clever to be caught by the authorities,” says Raman. Whether Sobhraj will be happy with this tweaked avatar remains to be seen.

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