Laal Singh Chaddha, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, '83, Prithviraj: 2020 is the year of biopics
Aamir Khan steps into Tom Hanks's shoes while Ranveer Singh brings India's proudest moment in cricket history to celluloid in 2020, Bollywood is not shying away from ambitious ideas.
Laal Singh Chaddha
Almost 10 years ago, Robert Downey Jr had compared Aamir Khan to Tom Hanks after watching Lagaan. Now, Khan will step into Hanks's shoes for Laal Singh Chaddha, an official adaptation of the 1994 gem Forrest Gump. He has entrusted Secret Superstar director Advait Chadan to give shape to the idea that he has cherished for over a decade. Reimagining a widely loved classic may be a tall order, but who better than Mr Perfectionist to do justice to it?
Currently at the top of his game, Ayushmann Khurrana reunites with director Shoojit Sircar — the man who started it all for him in Bollywood with Vicky Donor (2012) — for Gulabo Sitabo. The quirky comedy, set in Lucknow, explores the love-hate relationship between landlords and tenants. Who is the domineering landlord, you ask. None other than Big B.
It's always a delight to see Vidya Balan on screen, even if she is doling out math lessons. After turning down a string of biopics, the talented actor has greenlit Shakuntala Devi: The Human Computer. Balan will essay the eponymous role in the Anu Menon-directed venture, giving us a peek into the genius of Devi, who displayed her proficiency in math since the age of three.
Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior
Ajay Devgn has bet big on the story of Maratha general Tanhaji Malusare. The Om Raut-directed venture traces the 1670 Battle of Sinhagad that saw Malusare's army take on the Mughal empire's army led by Udaybhan Rathod (Saif Ali Khan). The project will not only be presented in 3D but will also see a simultaneous Marathi release.
Of Akshay Kumar's multiple releases in 2020, Prithviraj is arguably the most ambitious. The historical drama will see the actor portray the brave ruler of the Chahamana dynasty, who fought against the huge Ghurid army in 1192. Besides being the debut vehicle of Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar, the Diwali release will see Kumar return to the Yash Raj Films fold after a decade.
In a country where cricket and cinema are a religion unto themselves, one can only imagine the anticipation for a project that combines the two elements. A retelling of India's 1983 Cricket World Cup win, the sports drama has been developed by Kabir Khan in close collaboration with the real heroes of the '83 squad. Leading man Ranveer Singh has not only aced the physical resemblance to Kapil Dev, but has also perfected the legend's signature Natraj shot.
When you're telling the story of one of India's most fearless women politicians, it's only fitting that you rope in the fiercest actor of Bollywood. Kangana Ranaut brings her rendition of J Jayalalithaa to the big screen with Thalaivi. From a bright student who reluctantly joined films to her rise as a force to reckon with in Indian politics, Jayalalithaa's story has the necessary crests and troughs for the making of an engaging movie. Question is, will director AL Vijay and Ranaut explore the untapped portions of her life and offer a brave tribute?
A sequel to the 2017 sleeper hit, Hindi Medium, Angrezi Medium will mark the return of Irrfan Khan to the big screen after his year-long break to seek treatment for neuroendocrine tumour. With a fresh on-screen pair in Khan and Kareena Kapoor, and an able director in Homi Adajania, the comedy may be the perfect summer treat.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
With seven consecutive hits under his belt, it appears that Ayushmann Khurrana can do no wrong. The actor takes on another gamble with Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, a same-sex love story that deals with the social taboos around homosexuality. The film, also featuring Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta, tenderly deals with the troubles faced by same-sex couples despite the abolition of Section 377.
After a self-imposed sabbatical of 19 years, Mahesh Bhatt returns to the director's chair with the sequel to his 1991 superhit film Sadak that featured Sanjay Dutt and Pooja Bhatt. What makes it interesting is that the drama marks the first professional collaboration between Bhatt and daughter Alia. The film will see Dutt's character Ravi join forces with Alia's character to expose a godman.
Sardar Udham Singh
Vicky Kaushal attempts his most definitive role as he plays the freedom fighter in Shoojit Sircar's period drama. The film traces how the Jallianwala Bagh massacre impacted the young Udham Singh and how he sought revenge, years later, by assassinating General Michael O'Dwyer.
Initially eyeing a 2019 release, Jhund, which marks the Hindi directorial debut of Sairat director Nagraj Manjule, has been pushed to 2020. With Amitabh Bachchan leading from the front, the biographical sports-drama tells the story of Vijay Barse, the founder of NGO Slum Soccer, who rehabilitated street kids by turning them into soccer players.
After the In-shaa-Allah fiasco with Salman Khan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali wasted little time in mounting another ambitious project with Alia Bhatt. Based on a chapter from the bestseller, Mafia Queens Of Mumbai, Gangubai tells the story of the fierce madam of Kamathipura brothels who was forced into the trade by her boyfriend.
After missing from the big screen for almost two years, Deepika Padukone kicks off 2020 by bringing the story of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal on celluloid. Chhapaak sees her slip into the role of Malti under director Meghna Gulzar's watchful eye. A story of hope and courage, it aims to show the deep-rooted patriarchy of Indian society, and how Agarwal fought to get the sale of acid curtailed. So invested was Padukone in telling the story that she decided to turn producer with the drama.
Even as the wait for his long-in-the-making Brahmastra continues, another Ranbir Kapoor starrer is eyeing a 2020 release. In the making for over a year, Shamshera marks the actor's first double role. The Karan Malhotra-directed venture is set in the 1800s and revolves around a dacoit tribe who lead the fight for independence from the British Raj. Will this hit the screens before Ayan Mukerji's fantasy drama? Your guess is as good as ours.
This Akshay Kumar starrer has hit headlines ever since it was announced. After the launch of the first look in May, director Raghava Lawrence — who has written, produced and directed the original Tamil film, Muni 2: Kanchana (2011) on which the remake is based — quit the project, hinting at creative differences with producers. While the matter was resolved in a week, Kumar has a bigger hurdle ahead — his film will lock horns with Salman Khan's Radhe on Eid. For now though, Laxmmi Bomb enjoys the advantage of novelty — after all, who wouldn't want to see the superstar play a character who is possessed by the spirit of a transgender?
After the success of Badhaai Ho, director Amit R Sharma switches gears to a biopic on Syed Abdul Rahim, who served as the coach of the Indian football team from 1950 to 1963 and guided the team to victory at the Asian Games in 1951 and 1962. Ajay Devgn fronts the drama with National Award winner Keerthy Suresh, who plays a crucial part.
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