After shelving his project on Rituparno Ghosh due to his demise, director Shoojit Sircar is now focusing on the life of Sibdas Bhaduri, who successfully led bare-footed Indians against British footballers in 1911.
The ‘Madras Cafe’ maker has cast John Abraham in the lead role of the period piece ‘1911’ that focuses on Bhaduri, the then captain of Mohun Bagan that won the IFA Shield as the first Indian team in that year.
A sports fanatic, John had earlier played a footballer in 2007 film ‘Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal’.
The pre-production of ‘1911’ has started, but Shoojit is sad that the Rituparno project will never happen.
“‘Red Carpet’ won’t happen without Ritu-da. The film was based on him and only he could have enacted the role,” Shoojit told PTI, remembering the ace director who died an untimely death on May 30 last year.
“Now that he is no more, there is none who can match his persona and screen presence. I have shelved the project,” he said.
Returning to ‘1911’, he says, John will essay Bhaduri’s character in the film which will be entirely shot on Kolkata maidan area.
“John is working on the character by reading details on the pre-Independence era football legend,” Shoojit said. Bhaduri and his dhoti-clad team had defeated the East
Yorkshire Regiment in the IFA Shield final in 1911.
It will be a sports film with patriotic fervor like the 2007 hit ‘Chak De India’, the director said.
“I will do everything to retain authenticity of the period,” said Shoojit, who has encouraged John to buy I-league team Lajong FC, besides the Guwahati franchise of ISL.