If a report in the Mumbai Mirror is to be believed, Taapsee Pannu might be in talks to star in the biopic of Indian cricket great, Mithali Raj. The report states that even though the talks have been ongoing since 2017 and Pannu has even verbally agreed to it, things haven’t been made official as of now. While the story is locked, the film’s script is still being written.
Who is Mithali Raj?
Even though biopic announcements in Bollywood have become the norm these days, one needn’t be an expert to know that Mithali Raj’s biopic is a big deal. Born in Jodhpur, her family settled in Secunderabad, where she pursued her early cricket career. Often regarded as the greatest batswoman to have played cricket, the 36-year-old has enjoyed an illustrious career of over two decades. Raj is the only female cricketer with more than 6000 ODI runs, holds the record for seven consecutive ODI half centuries, and she is also the only female cricketer to have played in 200 ODIs.
A Padmashri recipient in 2015, Raj is the only Indian cricketer to have captained a side in two ICC World Cups (2005 & 2017). The side finished as a runner-up on both occasions, losing to Australia and England in the finals respectively.
Bollywood’s flurry of biopics
This report comes slowly on the heels of Meghna Gulzar’s announcement of a film on the life of Sam Manekshaw, starring Vicky Kaushal. Meanwhile, there are other films like one based on Abhinav Bindra starring Harshvardhan Kapoor, one based on Saina Nehwal starring Parineeti Chopra, and Shahid Kapoor in talks to recreate the life of Manipuri boxer Dingko Singh.
Sports biopics like Mary Kom and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag have turned the genre into a lucrative one. And with the likes of Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju destroying all box office records last year, it’s easy to understand why Bollywood has announced a flurry of biopics.
Pannu has previously essayed the role of a sportsperson on screen, as a hockey player in Shaad Ali’s Soorma. She’s also set to play the role of a sharpshooter in her upcoming film, Saand Ki Aankh. In terms of being physically adept and also bringing her deftness in acting to this character. One can only hope and pray that, unlike other Bollywood biopics, this one won’t be an insincere and reverential one.