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Siddharth Roy Kapur signs on Hasee Toh Phasee director for film on Somali pirates

The film, based on a real-life pirate attack on an Indian merchant ship, will be written by Sudip Sharma and directed by Vinil Mathew. 


Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur has signed on director Vinil Mathew and screenwriter Sudip Sharma for a dramatic thriller inspired by true events surrounding a pirate attack off the coast of Somalia in east Africa.

To be produced under the Roy Kapur Films banner, the movie is inspired by the true story of merchant navy officer Audumbar Bhoi, whose ship and crew were attacked by Somali pirates, a statement said.

Roy Kapur described it as a "unique and exciting subject" that his banner has been developing for many months.

"The film is based on true events involving piracy on the high seas off Somalia and is told through the eyes of a young Indian merchant navy officer, who has to navigate through unimaginably perilous circumstances while dealing with huge personal challenges," the producer said. "It is a thrilling, dramatic and emotional journey, and we couldn't have asked for a better director than Vinil Mathew to tell this story."

"Also, having Sudip on board as screenwriter for the film is a huge advantage, as he unfailingly creates memorable characters, inhabits them in authentic worlds, and in the process creates strong conflicts and riveting drama," he added.

Mathew is known for the new-age romantic drama Hasee Toh Phasee (2014) while Sharma is the acclaimed writer of NH10 (2015) and Udta Punjab (2016).

"When Siddharth shared this story with me, I instinctively knew I had to be associated with the film as it had all the right ingredients of emotion, drama and thrill," Mathew said.

Sharma said that while he is normally wary of writing commissioned scripts for producers, it is different with Roy Kapur as he allows creative freedom.

"When he pitched this story to me, I just jumped at it because it has the potential to be a tense hostage drama-cum-survival story, and lets you explore Somalia and maritime piracy, a world hitherto unseen in Hindi films," he said.

Over the past few months, intensive research on the Indian merchant navy life as well as on the Somalian piracy problem and its impact on many Indian families has been underway.

The film is likely to go on the floors in the second half of 2018.