After the success of Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019), actor Vicky Kaushal likely has had his choice of projects to work on next and has tied up with filmmaker Shoojit Sircar to tell the story of Udham Singh during India’s struggle for Independence.
Singh assassinated the former lieutenant governor of Punjab, Michael O’Dwyer, in March 1940 as revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919. He was found guilty of murder and hanged in April 1940.
In a press release about his upcoming film, Sircar said of his lead actor, “I have been waiting to tell the heroic tale of Shaheed Udham Singh for a very long time. It is a story very close to my heart. For it, I needed an actor who could give his heart and soul to the film, be with me and tell the story together. Vicky fits the bill perfectly. I have seen his work and the dedication he brings to it.”
The Masaan (2015) actor said working with Sircar was always on his wish list. Besides this biopic, he is also part of Karan Johar’s Takht (2020) and a horror comedy with Bhumi Pednekar.
“It is like a dream come true that he is finally directing me. And, what better story than Udham Singh! Being a Punjabi, I have always heard about his stories, heard about his life as I was growing up and he has always come across as a mysterious character. The more mysterious a character, the more stimulating it becomes for an actor and for the director as well. I am so looking forward to becoming Udham Singh and translating Shoojit sir’s vision. I just feel that this is one person whose life story India should know and I am really excited for this journey to start,” he said in a statement.
Kaushal will replace actor Irrfan Khan who was long attached to the project with Sircar. Khan returned to India this month after undergoing treatment for neuroendocrine tumour in London for the past year. Sircar revealed that he and the actor spoke about the project.
“He is recovering well and is in a good mood,” Sircar said. “He wants to start work on films but for now, he would like to do a film that does not require the kind of strenuous physical action that this film would. He told me to move on since we have waited for long on this film. He and I are in touch and we are working on something else together.”
The untitled film will be produced by Ronnie Lahiri’s Rising Sun Films.