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Bollywood gets into World Cup mode

After winning with the willow in Iqbal, B'wood plans to bend it like Beckham.

india Updated: May 15, 2006 12:14 IST

After winning with the willow in Iqbal, Bollywood now plans to bend it like Beckham. While the rest of the world gets sucked into the football fever with the upcoming World Cup in Germany, our silver screen too is headed the soccer way with as many as three flicks on the game in the pipeline.

This includes Yash Raj Films’ Chak De, featuring Shah Rukh Khan. Directed by Shimit Amin of Ab Tak Chappan fame, the film will present the King Khan as a coach to an 11-member girls’ soccer team. Not many know that he was actually the captain of his school football team too.

Ahmed Khan, a big soccer buff himself, too has a football flick coming up. Tentatively titled Yahan Ke Hum Sikander, it will feature Prahar’s strict commando, Nana Patekar playing coach of a team comprising Sohail Khan, Viveik Oberoi, Suneil Shetty, Arjun Rampal, Bobby Deol and Aftab Shivdasani.

Khan is excited about the project, which he says, “is a longstanding dream. I had wanted to make a film on football since the last World Cup. Every time I would decide, all my friends would agree very enthusiastically. But finally, now I’m going to capture it onscreen.” Though Khan refuses to divulge much about the script, he says that the film will talk about the experiences of a team playing the game against the English. And to ensure that he gets the facts right, Khan will also be taking cues from Indian soccer star Baichung Bhutia.

We spoke to Bhutia about the development, to which he said: “It’s good that Bollywood is planning to honour the sport on the silver screen. All that I hope is that these films will be a fair and realistic depiction of the game.”

Vivek Agnihotri is another director who has announced a film for UTV with football as its theme, which may star Saif Ali Khan. “It’s a film based on human triumph in the backdrop of the game of football,”says Vivek.

As to why he chose football as the subject, he says, “World Cup football is the most watched event all over the world, which just sums up the devotion that the sport enjoys. That’s why we decided to take it as the theme for our film.”

In a cricket-crazy nation, football finally seems to be finding its silver screen glory. All that remains to be seen is if we’ll have another winner like Iqbal coming our way.