Director Nagraj Manjule will kick off his first Hindi film, Jhund, in November with a start-to-finish schedule in Nagpur. Based on the life of Vijay Barse, the founder of slum soccer, it has Amitabh Bachchan playing a retired sports teacher who weans street kids off a life of crime and drugs and redirects their talent to build a soccer team.
He started work on this script after Sairat wrapped up, and though Big B’s character is based on a real person, the way it’s written, it’s moved far away from the source material. “No other actor fits the role, only Mr. Bachchan can do justice to this particular character. All the others in the film are newcomers since I am known to work with fresh talent. The combination of Mr. Bachchan and this young team will be something to look forward to,” the National Award winner promises, Nagraj revealed in a recent Interview.
Produced by Bhushan Kumar (Tseries) and Savita Raj Hiremath, the film will be completed in around 80 days with Bachchan filming for 45 days straight in Nagpur. The street kids have undergone training and will be rehearsing with him for a couple of days before the film rolls.
When asked on the prep and the shoot, Nagraj revealed that he had chosen to film in Nagpur because the story is based there. “I wanted the look to be as authentic as possible. Nagpur has its own charm and feel. The lanes of the city are different from Mumbai and Pune and my film can be best showcased there,” he reasoned.
Amitabh Bachchan had committed himself to the film last year, but after several delays in the shooting, had opted out in April this year. However, after Bhushan came on board as producer, he convinced the veteran actor to return to play the protagonist.