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Ajay Devgn in town to shoot for ‘Maidaan’

Updated: Nov 04, 2019 21:06 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Ajay Devgn at the airport in Lucknow
Ajay Devgn at the airport in Lucknow

Ajay Devgn landed in Lucknow on Monday morning for the shoot of sports flick ‘Maidaan’. Two schedules of the film have been shot in Mumbai and the third began in city-outskirts from Saturday. This is Devgn’s second movie shoot in the city after ‘Raid’.

Armed with a battery of bodyguards, Devgn was accompanied by his son, Yug. He will start shooting from Tuesday. The film is based on Syed Abdul Rahim who coached the Indian football team which reached the semi-finals of the Melbourne Olympics (1956) and won gold in the Jakarta Asian Game (1963). He is said to be the founder of 4-2-4-1 (player) formation.

During his visit to Lucknow in May 2019, producer Boney Kapoor had made an announcement of the film.

Speaking from Mumbai over the phone, he said, “We started the principal shoot from August 20 in Mumbai. Now, for around a month, we will shoot the Lucknow-leg followed by a schedule in Kolkata. We will be coming back to Lucknow again early next year for another schedule.”

The film is being directed by Amit Ravindranath Sharma. ‘Badhai Ho’, which he had also directed, went on to win a national award earlier this year. “Amit debuted as director with my film ‘Tevar’ which we shot here in Agra. His understanding about film-making is wonderful. This is a sensitive film as it is set in the 1950s and 60s, which was a glorious period for India football. We were known as ‘Brazil of Asia’ then. We want the audience to know about our glorious days and once again fuel the feeling that we can be champions in football again,” Kapoor said.

The film has been produced by Boney Kapoor, Akash Chawla and Arunava Roy Sengupta with Zee Studios as presenters. It also stars national award winning actor Keerthi Suresh, ‘Badhai Ho’ actor Gajraj Rao, Nitanshi Goel, Boman Irani and Johnny Lever.

‘Mary Kom’ and ‘Neerja’ writer Saiwayn Quadras had done the screenplay while ‘Pink’ writer Ritesh Shah has written its dialogues.

“The players on the ground are a comparatively new lot. Some of them are football players. They have been trained in the game for the last six months and have now become good footballers. We will be shooting in Kolkata also, as it is the main hub of football and the state has a history attached to it,” Kapoor said.

This is the producer’s third film in Uttar Pradesh. “We shot ‘Tevar’ in Agra-Mathura (with son Arjun Kapoor), ‘Mom’ in Noida; this we are shooting here. Also, my daughter (Jahnvi Kapoor) shot Gunjan Saxena’s biopic here so too much UP is happening in life, as I am born in this state (Meerut). Mumbai is my karmboomi but UP is my janambhoomi.”

The film’s line-producer Eiqbal Jaafri said, “We have a 70-day shoot in Lucknow spread over two schedules. We will be shooting in a lot of old and heritage locations of the city. We are also shooting in Sitapur and later matches will be shot in the state capital,” said Jaafri.