Who will play G Rupa Devi in her biopic, Prachi Desai or Parineeti Chopra?

Prachi Desai or Parineeti Chopra are rumoured to have been approached for a biopic on 'only Indian woman' to qualify as international football referee

2016 has been billed as the year of biopics. While two films on real personalities — Sonam Kapoor-starrer 'Neerja' and Hansal Mehta's 'Aligarh' — have already released, nearly half a dozen more will hit the big screen all year round and an equal number will roll out in the coming months.

Prachi Desai and Parineeti Chopra
Prachi Desai and Parineeti Chopra

Now add to this a proposed biopic on G Rupa Devi, a young physical training teacher from Tamil Nadu who was recently selected to officiate international matches conducted by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Sources say the makers have approached Prachi Desai and Parineeti Chopra for the protagonist's role.

"It will be shot in various parts of the world and will go on floors by June. Talks are on with Prachi and Parineeti to star in the film which will be helmed by a newcomer. An official announcement will be made soon," says a source working on the untitled project, without divulging details about the production house involved.

Rupa, a science graduate from Dindigul in Tamil Nadu, is the only Indian woman to have been selected by FIFA as an international referee, claims the source. After passing several tests and enrolling for Project Future Referees (the FIFA programme for referees), she qualified as the first female referee from the state to be selected by the apex football association. This entry marked a milestone in the sports arena since football, like most sports, is considered a male bastion.

Prachi and Parineeti, who is currently in Australia, remained unavailable for comment while a source close to the makers says, "In this film, the actress in consideration will have to somewhat do what Shah Rukh Khan did in 'Chak De! India' (2007) or Priyanka Chopra did in 'Mary Kom' (2014). We are looking for a someone with a childlike face but also mass appeal to be able to shoulder the film. We are already in talks with various top seed footballers to feature in the film alongside the actress."

Women in focus

A host of Hindi films on gritty as well as controversial women are in the pipeline:

> Simran: Hansal Mehta's next inspired by the exploits of an Indian-origin nurse Sandeep Kaur, who earned the moniker 'Bombshell Bandit' for a spate of robberies in the US in 2014

> Arunima Sinha biopic: Farhan Akhtar had been planning a film on the world's first woman amputee to scale Mount Everest, but it has apparently not progressed as Arunima is unhappy with the royalty amount (R50 lakh) to lend her story to the big screen.

Kangana Ranaut
Kangana Ranaut

> Meena Kumari biopic: Tigmanshu Dhulia's proposed project was to be adapted from late journalist Vinod Mehta's biography on Bollywood's Tragedy Queen. However, it may not become a reality as the late actress' stepson, Tajdar Amrohi is already making a film on her and is opposed to Dhulia's film and choice of actress — Kangana.

> Haseena – The Queen of Mumbai: Based on Dawood Ibrahim's sister, Haseena Parkar, the Apoorva Lakhia film was supposed to go on floors last month. But has been put off until the year-end due to leading lady Sonakshi Sinha's packed date diary.

Sonakshi Sinha
Sonakshi Sinha

> Rani Lakshmi Bai: Ketan Mehta's next featuring Kangana as the Rani of Jhansi, one of the leaders of the First Indian War of Independence in 1857.

> Amrita: Shekhar Kapur's proposed film on writer-poet Amrita Pritam. Kangana is likely to star in the project.

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