India football icon Baichung Bhutia joins the pantheon of sports personalities such as Milkha Singh, Paan Singh Tomar, Mary Kom, MS Dhoni and Sandeep Singh to be immortalised on celluloid through a biopic.
Anand Kumar, best known for Sanjay Dutt-Vivek Oberoi starrer “Zila Ghaziabad”, is working on former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia’s biopic. Kumar has conceptualised the biopic, which will showcase the life of Bhutia. He is currently in the process of finalising a director and lead actor for the film.
Bhutia is excited about the project and he believes the filmmaker is the right person to honour his journey. “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 (his football club),” Bhutia said in a statement here.
The ace footballer will himself be involved in all the creative aspects of the film, the footballer-turned-politician said. “I want the biopic to be as close to reality as possible. I was concerned about the writing process, but the moment I learnt that Anand has got Prashant Pandey (writer of ‘Sarkar’, ‘Poorna’ and ‘Raid’) on board, I was relieved,” Bhutia said.
Kumar said the idea of making a film on football struck him during 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. “During the World Cup, I noticed that there has been a change in the sporting passion in India because a large section of India’s youth is now inclined towards football.
“Young kids like the sport more than cricket. That’s why I wanted to make a film on football,” the director said and added Bhutia’s story makes for a compelling film. “He (Bhutia) has won the Padma Shri and has been a role model for many young Indians, who follow the game of football,” Kumar said.
Besides Bhutia, biopics on sports legends like PT Usha, Mithali Raj, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Jhulan Goswami, Baloo Palwankar, Abhinav Bindra and Pullela Gopichand are also in the works.