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Larger than life biopics in Bollywood

Hollywood has seen a spate of biopics over the years with some of them raking in the film industry’s highest honour, the Oscar, for the actor/actress stepping into the shoes of the protagonist. More recently, while Daniel Day-Lewis’ resemblance to the American President Abraham Lincoln was stark, Meryl Streep earned her stripes for portraying the controversial British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. And with films like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Paan Singh Tomar, it looks like the Hindi film industry too is saluting the legends of the past.

Priyanka Chopra Mary Kom
Priyanka Chopra
Playing: Mary Kom

If one excuses her latest item number, PC’s last filmi venture was Barfi! for which she garnered critical acclaim. Picking up from where she left, the actress is putting in a lot of physical training - not to mention makeup - to get Mary Kom right in Omung Kumar’s upcoming biopic. Sounds great but only time can tell if this is Bollywood’s reply to Million Dollar Baby.

Akshay Kumar Dara Singh
Akshay Kumar
Playing: Dara Singh

After Milkha Singh, the focus is on another sportsperson from the north. Director Rohit Jugraj has apparently approached Dara Singh’s son Vindoo with a cinematic proposal. Akshay is expected to play the lead in the project. The actor too is said to be keen to portray the celebrated wrestler-actor but needs time to work on his physique.

Ranbir Kapoor Kishore Kumar
Ranbir Kapoor
Playing: Kishore Kumar

Anurag Basu will be helming a project based on the eccentric genius’s life. Ranbir was the maker’s first choice but thanks to his busy schedule, the film has been delayed. He’s currently shooting in Sri Lanka for Anurag Kashyap’s next.

Vidya Balan MS Subbulakshmi
Vidya Balan
Playing: MS Subbulakshmi

Rajiv Menon is said to be ready with a script following the late Carnatic exponent’s life. Moreover, the late vocalist who became the first musician to be awarded Bharat Ratna started her career as a film actress. Following her portrayal of Silk Smith in The Dirty Picture, Vidya was apparently approached for the film.

Shah Rukh Khan Dhyan Chand
Shah Rukh Khan
Playing: Dhyan Chand

There have been a lot of speculations suggesting that King Khan is very interested in Playing the hockey wizard in a film. However, there has been no official announcement on it. But given his past association with the sport in question (also Chak De! India), he is expected to give a green signal to the much-delayed project.

Producers’ lot

Anurag Kashyap Vashistha Narayan Singh
Anurag Kashyap
Vashistha Narayan Singh

After producing a biopic on Shahid Azmi, the filmmaker has apparently set his sight on Vashistha Narayan Singh, a celebrated mathematician who has worked with NASA, IIT-Kanpur and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Once Kashyap is done with the film, he is expected to start casting for his biopic, which will go on the floors early next year.

Riteish Deshmukh Khashba Jadhav
Riteish Deshmukh
Khashba Jadhav

Riteish Deshmukh will produce a film on Khashaba Jadhav, independent India’s first individual Olympic medalist. Titled Pocket Dynamo, it will be a bilingual in Marathi and Hindi.

Naomi Watts
On Hollywood front

Several biopics are about to release in the coming months...
Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher, explores Steve Jobs’ amazing journey.
Diana, starring Naomi Watts, features the last two years of Princess Diana’s life.
The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, follows WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange.
Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfried, is the story of adult star Linda Lovelace.
Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, is about the tempestuous six-year relationship between European musician Liberace and his protégé Scott Thorson.

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