Is Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing Bal Thackeray in an upcoming movie?

If reports are to be believed, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has been approached to play Bal Thackeray, a role earlier offered to Akshay Kumar and Irrfan Khan

Nawazuddin Siddiqui may essay the titular role in a film based on Balasaheb Thackeray if reports are to be believed. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut is reportedly making a film on the founder of the party under the banner ‘Raut’ers Entertainment. An event to announce the film has been organised on December 21, where Amitabh Bachchan and Uddhav Thackeray will be guests of honour.

Rumour has it that before Siddiqui, Akshay Kumar and Irrfan Khan were approached for the role. Apparently, Sanjay Raut has been working on this project for four years and was inspired by Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi and Justin Chadwick’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Speaking to a daily, Raut said Bal Thackeray’s life had all the elements fit for a feature film. He hoped the film would tell people about the late leader’s struggles. Refusing to comment on the film’s cast, Raut said:

Balasaheb was a mass leader and I want this to be a mainstream popular film which will strike a chord with all those who know about him and his struggle.

Here is the invitation for the big launch:

Courtesy: Twitter

Courtesy: Twitter

The film will be helmed by MNS leader, Abhijeet Panse. In 2015, Bal Thackeray’s daughter-in-law Smita Thackeray had announced she’d make a film on him which was to be helmed by her son, Rahul Thackeray. The movie could not go on floors after Uddhav Thackeray objected to it. In 2015, a Marathi film Balkadu released, which was based on the life of Bal Thackrey and contained voice clippings of his speeches.

Also read: Dear Mr Amitabh Bachchan, you as Subhash Nagre in Sarkar 3 are mind-blowing again. Thank you for another brilliant performance

In mainstream Bollywood, the most prominent portrayal of Bal Thackrey was Amitabh Bachchan’s Subhash Nagre from Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar series. The role was said to be modelled keeping the persona of the Shiv Sena supremo, with the politician’s trademark attire, red tilak and rudraksha necklace, helping in bringing the Bachchan’s portrayal alive.

Amitabh Bachchan in Sarkar 3 as Subhash Nagre

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In 2016, few party members of the Shiv Sena objected to Siddiqui’s playing the role of Raavan at a Ram Leela programme in Uttar Pradesh. The workers protested because of Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s religion. After this caught attention, Aditya Thackrey, the youth leader of Shiv Sena, released a statement saying the actions of the workers weren’t endorsed by the party. He had said:

I spoke to Nawazuddin Siddiquiji to convey that the party does not endorse the reason for which he was prevented from performing at the Ramlila in UP. The said person, an office-bearer or not, has not voiced the party’s policy and the party will not support such uncalled for actions.

If Nawazuddin is roped in for the role, it would be worth seeing how well he adopts the mannerisms of the staunch Hindu leader.

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