It’s raining bio-pics in the Bollywood backyard. Even as Shraddha Kapoor is to play badminton star Saina Nehwal in a bio-pic directed by Amole Gupte, another badminton biopic of ace badminton player, chief national coach of the Indian badminton team and Padma Shri awardee Pullela Gopichand is on the way.
The film to be produced jointly by Fox-Star Studios and Abundantia Entertainment, a bilingual biopic in Hindi and Telugu, will chronicle the exciting journey of Pullela Gopichand, on and off the court. The scripting of the film is underway and the shoot will commence in mid-2018.
But the biggest ace up this bio-pic’s sleeve is the authentic casting. The makers of the Pullela Gopichand bio-pic have decided to cast Telugu actor Sudheer Babu who made his Bollywood debut as the arch-villain in Sabbir Khan’s Baaghi two years ago.
Sudheer Babu is not only an actor who is culturally affiliated with Puellela, he is also a badminton champ in his own right. “We were very clear that we wanted an actor who would look unrehearsed while hitting the cork across the net. We didn’t want to fake it at all. When Fox-Star and Neeraj Pandey decided to cast Sushant Singh Rajput as M S Dhoni, the actor didn’t have to prepare from the scratch, as Sushant was already a state-level cricketer. We were very sure we didn’t want an actor to come on board to play Gopichand and then take a two-week crash course in badminton,” says a source close to the development, taking a dig at Shraddha Kapoor’s infamous crash-course in Hyderabad to play Nehwal.
Sudheer Babu, we are told, has already begun spending time with Gopichand, trying to assimilate the coach’s gaming tactics into his own method of badminton-playing.
Sudheer who made a bludgeoning impact with Baaghi is hoping to move to a more heroic image with this sports film. Commenting on the biopic, Pullela Gopichand, said, “Badminton is at an inflection point in our country and nothing delights me more than to see the rapidly growing interest for the sport, especially with the youth. I would be proud if by sharing my story as a film, we can encourage more and more people to pursue their dreams. I am excited with the developments on the film and look forward to Vikram Malhotra of Abundantia and Fox Star taking this film to the masses.”