Announcing that the film's shoot has been postponed by a few months, the director added that it will not be entirely based on the infamous female gangster.
Vishal Bhardwaj's gangster drama with Irrfan and Deepika not based on Sapna Didi's life
Mumbai - 22 Feb 2018 11:18 IST
Vishal Bhardwaj's decision to cast two of the more popular artistes of today's Hindi cinema, Irrfan Khan and Deepika Padukone, in a film about Mumbai mafia was met with enthusiasm. However, the director sadly announced that the project has met with a setback. Both actors have taken ill, and have been advised rest for the next couple of months.
While rumours were rife that the film is based on the infamous Sapna Didi, the female gangster who went up against crime boss, Dawood Ibrahim, the director has denied the claims.
In his Facebook post, Bhardwaj wrote, "I am pushing back the film by a few months as both of my lead actors are down with different health problems. Irrfan is down with jaundice and it will take him a few weeks to recover and Deepika Padukone's back problem which had previously developed during the shooting of Padmaavat has now resurfaced. Her role in the film is very physically demanding and the doctor has advised her not to do any strenuous work for a couple of months."
While the director mentions that both, Khan and Padukone, were perfect in the look test, he added that the project remains untitled.
Dismissing rumours that the film is based on Sapna Didi's life, Bhardwaj wrote, "I would also like to clear that the film is still untitled and is not based on Rahima Khan/Sapna Didi’s life. Yes, it’s a takeoff from the story Femme Fatale from Hussain Zaidi’s book Mafia Queens of Mumbai but as we worked on this idea, the story and screenplay have taken on a new identity and shape which is nowhere close to the above-mentioned names. Hence, it’s definitely not a biopic."
This detail is a contradiction of what Padukone had herself stated during a media interaction for Padmaavat. The actress had said, "I find her journey so relevant. It is going to be similar with Vishal sir's film. It is based on Sapna Didi, I don't know what the title is at moment. It is a true story. It is an incredible story, her transformation is amazing."
However, the director could not help but reveal the names of the two characters in his film. He signed off the note adding, 'Sending pyaar and duaaen to my Ustara and Afshan.'
Ashraf Khan a.k.a. Sapna Didi became a dreaded mafia queen after her husband was murdered by Dawood Ibrahim. She teamed up with another mafiosi, Hussain Ustara to avenge her husband's murder. It is possible that Khan is set to play the very same Ustara, as the post suggests. While Padukone's character is called Afshan, very close to Sapna Didi's real name Ashraf.
Whether the director has chosen to change the names and the story in order to avoid legal trouble from the family is yet to be confirmed. The untitled project is set to go on the floors in April.