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Akshay Kumar and Karan Johar's take on Battle of Saragarhi is titled Kesari


The title was released by Akshay Kumar on Twitter on Tuesday evening.

Shriram Iyengar

The Battle of Saragarhi has already created a rift in the film industry. While Rajkumar Santoshi has announced Battle Of Saragarhi with Randeep Hooda in the lead, two more films on the same subject are in the pipeline. Akshay Kumar and Karan Johar confirmed the name of their film, Kesari, based on the epic battle that took place in the North West Frontier Province in 1897.

Produced by Akshay Kumar and Karan Johar's Dharma Productions, Kesari is being directed by Anurag Singh. The actor tweeted the first look of the title on his account, and wrote, 'A film I'm extremely excited about personally and emotionally... #Kesari releasing Holi 2019.'

The co-producer of the film, Karan Johar, also tweeted: 'Extremely excited to see this exceptional and brave story unfold!!! @akshaykumar #KESARI #holi2019'

Kesari is set to be released on the eve of Holi in 2019. The timing seems apt, as the title Kesari refers to the colour saffron.

Initially, the film was speculated to have another producer in the form of Salman Khan. However, in July this year, Akshay Kumar suggested that the Dabanng (2010) actor was not part of the project. He said, "The film is very much on. As for Salman Khan co-producing it, well, we are working on it."

Salman Khan not on board yet, but Akshay Kumar's Battle Of Saragarhi is 'very much on'

The first look of the film also reveals that Akshay Kumar will be playing the lead in Anurag Singh's film. This puts the actor in direct opposition with Randeep Hooda and Ajay Devgn, who are also playing similar characters in films based on the same battle.

While Hooda plays Havildar Ishar Singh in Battle Of Saragarhi directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, Ajay Devgn's film is called Sons Of Sardaar: The Battle of Saragarhi. With Akshay Kumar and Karan Johar finally throwing their hats into the ring, this looks like a battle set to replicate the surge of films made on Bhagat Singh in 2002.

The battle of Saragarhi was fought in 1897 between Sikh soldiers of the British Indian army and Pashtun Orakzai tribesmen in the North West Frontier Province. The battle took place between 21 soldiers of the regiment and 10,000 Afghani tribesmen, of whom more than 600 were killed.