There has been an overwhelming number of biopics that have released in the recent past and if observed closely, it is the sports stars whose life stories fascinate filmmakers the most. Be it a film on former skipper of Indian cricket team Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Dangal that chronicled the life of wrestlers Babita and Geeta Phogat, the audience has always thronged theaters to witness the life of their favourite sports stars unfold on the big screen.
The recent announcement of Tamil actor Vijay Sethupathi essaying Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan in a biopic made us look into all the sports biopics that have been announced until now. Take a look:
Headlined by Ranveer Singh and directed by Kabir Khan, 83 chronicles the historical moment when the Indian cricket team, under the captaincy of Kapil Dev, lifted their first-ever World Cup in the year 1983. While Ranveer will be seen as Kapil Dev, 83 will have Tahir Raj Bhasin as Sunil Gavaskar, Saqib Saleem as Mohinder Amarnath, Ammy Virk as Balwinder Sandhu, Sahil Khattar as Syed Kirmani, Chirag Patil as Sandeep Patil, Adinath Kothare as Dilip Vengsarkar, Dhairya Karwa as Ravi Shastri, Dinker Sharma as Kirti Azad, Jatin Sarna as Yashpal Sharma, Harrdy Sandhu as Madan Lal, Nishant Dahhiya as Roger Binny, R Badree as Sunil Valson and Pankaj Tripathi as their manager PR Man Singh. It is scheduled to release in theaters on April 10, 2020.
Mithali Raj biopic
A biopic on Indian cricket star Mithali Raj is in the making. Viacom18 Motion Pictures acquired the rights to make a movie on the life of the 36-year-old cricketer who grabbed the limelight after India’s foray into the final of the Women’s World Cup in 2017, which the team lost by nine runs to England. Mithali made her debut at the age of 16 in 1999. She became the first woman to score 6000 ODI runs in one-day international cricket.
The cast and other details of the movie are yet to be announced.
Saina Nehwal biopic
Long in the making, the Saina Nehwal biopic will have actor Parineeti Chopra essaying the role of the ace shuttler. Manav Kaul will be seen as her coach. The biopic, produced by T-Series’ Bhushan Kumar and helmed by Amole Gupte, is expected to hit theaters in 2020. Earlier, it was Shraddha Kapoor who was signed to play the Badminton player.
Not only Saina Nehwal, but a biopic on her coach Pullela Gopichad had been announced by Fox Star Hindi in 2017. Gopichand is the chief national coach of the Indian badminton team and a Padma Shri awardee. The film will be bilingual as it will release in both Hindi and Telugu. Other details of the movie have been kept under wraps.
It was under Gopichand’s training that Indian shuttler P V Sindhu won silver medals at 2016 Rio Olympics and 2017 BWF World Championships. He also trained Saina Nehwal (former world number one and bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics), Srikanth Kidambi (winner of two badminton super series, Australia Open and Indonesian Open), Arundhati Pantawane, Gurusai Dutt, Arun Vishnu and Parupalli Kashyap.
Bhaichung Bhutia biopic
Sports fanatics will also get to witness the story of former Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia on the 70 mm screen. The film has been conceptualised by filmmaker Anand Kumar, known for his films like Delhi Heights (2007) and Zila Ghaziabad (2013). Excited about his biopic, Bhaichung had said, “I am honoured that people feel that my journey is worth capturing for the big screen. I am certain that Anand will do justice to my story. I hail from a small town in Sikkim, but playing football for India wasn’t my only dream. I always wanted to own a professional football club and I realised that dream with United Sikkim.”
Abhinav Bindra biopic
Harshvardhan Kapoor will play 36-year-old Abhinav Bindra, the professional shooter who became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal in the 10 m Air Rifle at the Olympic Games in 2008. To be directed by Kannan Iyer, the film is expected to release in 2020.
PT Usha biopic
Directed by Revathy S Varmah, a biopic on PT Usha, the athlete who dominated the Indian race tracks for almost 15 years, is in the making. Reportedly, the film is being made in English and will be dubbed in Hindi, Malayalam, Chinese and Russian. Varmha told Scroll.com that Usha has plenty of fans in China and Russia, which is why they are dubbing the movie into the languages of both countries. “We want to tap that market too,” he said.
Dhyan Chand biopic
A biopic on ace hockey player Dhyan Chand was announced more than four years ago. Dhyan’s son Ashok Dhyan Chand sold the rights of a movie on his father’s life to producers Pooja Shetty and Aarti Shetty. Since then the makers haven’t been able to zero in on the lead actor for the biopic.