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It’s been four years since Ashok Dhyan Chand, son of hockey legend Dhyan Chand sold the movie rights of his father’s life to producers Pooja Shetty and Aarti Shetty. Nothing happened. There was some discussion with Shah Rukh Khan. But the matter was dropped.
However, it now seems the Shetty sisters have taken the project to Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions and the project is finally moving ahead.
Says a source from Dharma, “Pooja and Aarti sounded Karan out about the Dhyan Chand project. He loved the idea and agreed to co-produce the film. Karan approached Ranbir Kapoor to play Dhyan Chand. Ranbir, for reasons best known to him, declined the offer. KJo then took the project to his other favourite Varun Dhawan, who is quite keen on playing the hockey legend. He even made his father David Dhawan hear the story. Karan Johar then approached Fox Star Studios, who are keen to get on board.”
There is only one hitch. A very major one. Apparently, Karan Johar, Varun Dhawan and Fox Star do not want the film to be directed by debutant director Rohit Jaisingh Vaid.
Says a source, “It was Rohit, who bought the rights for the biopic on behalf of the Shetty sisters. The right to direct the film cannot be taken away from him unless Rohit voluntarily forfeits it. This, he is in no mood to do.”
Given the scenario the Dhyanchand biopic seems to be in a stalemate.
Says the source, “Rohit rightly feels he has the right to direct the Dhyan Chand biopic. But Karan and Fox Star
feel Rohit’s inexperience goes against him.” Let’s see who blinks first!
The other hockey biopic
Varun’s Dilwale co-star is the only other actor to have starred in a movie based on the hockey. Chak De! India, which won Shah Rukh Khan a lot of critical acclaim and also moolah at the box office. The movie was loosely inspired by the life of Mir Ranjan Negi. Negi was the hockey goalkeeper of the Indian team during the Asian Games 1982. During the Asian games, India lost to Pakistan. This was a humiliating experience for Negi. Later in his life, Negi coached the National Women’s hockey team and the team went on to win Gold at the Manchester Commonwealth games. Inspired from the incident, Chak De India had Kabir Khan (played by SRK) leading his gang of girls to to victory in a similar manner.
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