Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Randeep Hooda to play Sultana Daku in his next, a dacoit-drama


BOLLYWOOD: Actor’s Sultana Daku turn to roll in April and will be shot in Kazakistan

The screen adaptation of author- playwright Sujit Saraf’s 2009 novel, The Confession of Sultana Daku, has been in the works since 2014 when Tigmanshu Dhulia spoke about a film based on the life of the notorious dacoit. Siddharth Jain beat him to the film rights and was to collaborate with Boney Kapoor on the project. Over the last three years, from Salman Khan to Arjun Kapoor, several A-list actors have wanted to play this Robin Hood-like character. But none of them with the exception of Dara Singh who played the bandit king from the British Raj in a 1972 Bollywood action-drama titled Sultana Daku, have lived out their dream. Of late, there’s been talk of the book being translated into a British feature with Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead and Shekhar Kapur’s protege Heeraz Marfatia as the director.

Now, Mirror has learnt that a Hindi film with Randeep Hooda as Sultana Daku will roll in April 2018. It will follow the exploits of the swashbuckling dacoit from the Bhantu clan who terrorised the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand) in the 1920s.

Randeep Hooda

The yet-untitled project will be directed by Madhureeta Anand, whose independent film, Walking on a Moonbeam, won the Silver Conch at the Mumbai International Film Festival in 2006, and the documentaries, Education – A Reality or a Myth, Kumbh Mela – In Search of Salvation, and short film, Sin, were lauded at several global film festivals.

“The film will be shot in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh and Randeep, who is a champion horseman and rider, will film the extensive action and racing sequences in Kazakistan, where real locations will pass off as North India from the ’20s,” producer Rahul Mittra, who purchased the rights to the book with co-producer and presenter Raju Chadha, told Mirror.

Sultana was a dashing dacoit who named his horse Chetak, after Maharana Pratap’s horse and operated on a code of honour. When he was captured by the British, officer Freddie Young tried his hardest to have Sultana pardoned but to no avail. Sultana then asked Young to raise his son as a ‘sahib’ before he was sent to the gallows on July 7, 1924.

The makers are keen to give the film a contemporary spin. “The approach to the film will not be dark and gory and more like a superhero-drama, where Robin Hood Randeep’s character takes from the rich and gives to the poor as India fights for freedom,” Mittra added.

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