Saddam Hussein is set to hit the silver screen. Actor-filmmaker Akbar Khan will be playing the Iraqi dictator in the film From President To Prisoner. Producer-director Suresh Kohli finalised Khan for the part after a long selection process.
The idea for the film struck after Khan gifted Kohli a book on Saddam Hussein, which provided the graph for a “great human interest story of a great hero and a true nationalist, who has been negatively presented as a dictator”.
“When the idea came up to make the film, I got Akbar Khan’s photograph and placed it next to Saddam’s and everyone agreed he would suit the role perfectly. And thankfully, Akbar was game too. Now we are working out the logistics to kick start the bilingual film,” says Kohli.
Khan, who sounds excited about taking up the part, feels it’s going to be a challenge. “It’s going to be a special role because the world’s opinion of Saddam Hussein is divided into two. For half the world, he was a hero and for the other half, he was a villain. I’m looking forward to playing this part,” says Khan.
For the uninitiated, the ambitious documentary-drama is based on a book titled Safar Zindagi Ka by writer Aziz Burney. “For the character of Saddam Hussein, the only face which comes to mind is that of Akbar Khan and since he has agreed to play the role, it’s going to be exciting. I am very happy with the development,” says Burney.
From President To Prisoner will go on the floors in September 2011 and is expected to be predominantly shot in several real locations including Iraq.