The latest industry buzz is that superstar Rajinikanth will be playing a gangster again in his upcoming film with director Pa Ranjith. However, for a change, unlike Baasha and Kabali, his role is reportedly inspired by a real-life gangster. Reports suggested that the untitled flick, which will be set in the backdrop of Mumbai, will be based on the life of gangster Haji Mastan.
Mastan Haider Mirza was popularly known as Haji Mastan, Bawa and Sultan Mirza. He was a Tamil Muslim who migrated to Mumbai when he was eight along with his father. He spoke Tamil fluently. He was an associate of gangsters Karim Lala and Varadarajan Mudaliar who graduated into smuggling and real estate business. He also financed Bollywood films. A dreaded criminal in the eyes of the law, he reportedly enjoyed celebrity status among the poor in Mumbai. He dominated the underworld scene of the city for almost 20 years. He was also the mentor of Dawood Ibrahim.
It is worth noting that Ajay Devgan played a role based on Haji Mastan in Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, which came out in 2010. However, there is no official confirmation as yet on whether or not Rajinikanth will be playing a role inspired by the life of Haji Mastan.
Rajinikanth returned to the big screen as a gangster with last year’s Kabali after more than two decades. After delivering a cult hit like Baasha, Rajinikanth only played roles of ideal son, leader, brother and a citizen with no shades of grey. But, his fans were in for a treat to see him as an ageing gangster in Kabali.
The pre-production work of his second collaboration with Ranjith is underway in Chennai and the film will go on the floors next month. The filmmakers are yet to disclose the full cast and crew of this project. Speculations were rife that Bollywood actress Vidya Balan has been tapped to play the female lead in the film.
The film will be bankrolled by Dhanush’s home production banner Wunderbar Films. Rajinikanth, meanwhile, has completed his portions for his upcoming film 2.0, which is directed by Shankar. The film is slated for a Diwali release this year.