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Manto to Kishore: Upcoming biopics in Bollywood

As Nawazuddin Siddiqui gets ready to play writer Saadat Hasan Manto in a biopic, we look at other cinema icons, who have caught the attention of film-makers in B-Town.

bollywood Updated: May 20, 2016 19:43 IST
Prashant Singh
Prashant Singh
Hindustan Times
Saadat Hassan Manto

“I have grown up reading his stories. I’ve also watched several plays based on Manto’s works. He used to be criticised for writing vulgar stories, but, at the same time, was called a progressive writer. He would always say that as human beings, we should be progressive,” says Nawazuddin Siddiqui. (HT Photo)

Old Hindi films and songs are appreciated by B-Town and the audience even today. Now, going a step further, several film-makers are in the process of making biopics on popular yesteryear cinema icons. While Nawazuddin Siddiqui will play writer Saadat Hasan Manto in Nandita Das’ next film, a movie based on the love story of poet-lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi and Amrita Pritam is also in the pipeline. It will be produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and is likely to star Irrfan Khan. “I have grown up reading his stories. I’ve also watched several plays based on Manto’s works. He used to be criticised for writing vulgar stories, but, at the same time, was called a progressive writer. He would always say that as human beings, we should be progressive,” says Nawaz.

Read : Did you recognise Nawazuddin Siddiqui in these films?

Bhansali, on the other hand, feels that Ludhianvi “had a legacy”, and a love story like his “deserves to be told”. “When the script came to me, it was so wonderful that I wanted to direct it. But then, I decided to produce it. It’s an important film for us. This movie is my way of giving back to cinema for his immense contribution,” he says. Other icons to have caught the attention of film-makers and actors include Guru Dutt, RD Burman, Kishore Kumar, Madhubala and Meena Kumari. So, while Kangana Ranaut will play Meena Kumari in director Tigmanshu Dhulia’s film, Aamir Khan is reportedly interested in playing singer Kishore Kumar in a movie. “The biggest advantage of making such films with the stories of such icons is that they automatically get a big marketing push, because they are based on popular figures,” says Tigmanshu.

But experts point out that working on such projects is a challenge. “They have to be handled delicately. You need a mature writer, director and cast to do full justice to such iconic stories,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh. Highlighting another challenge, Tigmanshu says, “You need to be careful as a film-maker in India. While working on such stories, you hide the negatives and focus mostly on the positive aspects of a person’s life, as their family members might raise objections. So, you have to balance things out.”

Read : Manto liked to defy norms says Ayesha Jalal

Nawazuddin Siddiqui will portray the famous writer in Nandita Das’ next film.

Saadat Hasan Manto

Nawazuddin Siddiqui will portray the famous writer in Nandita Das’ next film.

Irrfan Khan is likely to play the poet in a film that will be produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Sahir Ludhianvi

Irrfan Khan is likely to play the poet in a film that will be produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

The lead actor for Kishore Kumar biopic is not finalised yet.

Kishore Kumar

Aamir Khan has reportedly shown interest in the biopic; Ranbir Kapoor was supposed to play the lead earlier in the same film.

Though a biopic on her hasn’t been announced yet, Kriti Sanon, Pallavi Sharda and Sonakshi Sinha are all keen to do a film on the actor’s life.

Madhubala

Though a biopic on her hasn’t been announced yet, Kriti Sanon, Pallavi Sharda and Sonakshi Sinha are all keen to do a film on the actor’s life.

Many years ago, Vinay Pathak was supposed to play RD Burman, but the film didn’t happen. Now, Farhan Akhtar wants to act in a film on his life.

RD Burman

Many years ago, Vinay Pathak was supposed to play RD Burman, but the film didn’t happen. Now, Farhan Akhtar wants to act in a film on his life.

Director Bhavna Talwar was supposed to make a film on Guru Dutt, but his family members objected to it. The current status of the film is still unknown.

Guru Dutt

Director Bhavna Talwar was supposed to make a film on Guru Dutt, but his family members objected to it. The current status of the film is still unknown.

Kangana Ranaut will play Meena Kumari in a film, but it’s currently on hold due to lack of adequate information and rights.

Meena Kumari

Kangana Ranaut will play Meena Kumari in a film, but it’s currently on hold due to lack of adequate information and rights.

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