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We never thought of Randeep Hooda playing Kapil Dev, says '83 producer

Producer Vishnu Induri denies the actor was ever approached for '83 but acknowledges Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan’s role as story writer.

Mayur Lookhar

An image of Randeep Hooda in the look of Kapil Dev lifting the 1983 cricket World Cup surfaced yesterday which led to the obvious question: was Hooda in line to play the legendary cricketer in '83?

A source close to the actor said Hooda was the first choice for a film to be directed by Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan, but it got delayed. Then, once Kabir Khan came on as director, he decided to start afresh as he wanted a star to play the main role.

Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan refused to comment when contacted by Cinestaan.com.

In 2014, Chauhan, who had helmed Lahore (2010), was said to be making a film on Kapil Dev with Hooda in the lead. The project was being produced by Vishnu Induri, who is the primary producer of '83.

Speaking to Cinestaan.com, Induri denied Hooda was ever in the fray for Kapil Dev's role. “I have not seen the picture, but let me assure you Randeep Hooda was never in our mind. Randeep is a great actor, but we never dreamt of him in our film."

Induri did acknowledge Chauhan’s role in the film, however. “We share an amicable relationship with Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan," he said. "He will be credited as story writer. But he was never supposed to direct it.

"We had a few faces in mind to play Kapil Dev, but nothing happened. Once Kabir Khan came on board as director, he pitched the film to Ranveer Singh. Ranveer was busy with prior commitments and so that's why we got delayed by over a year."

'83 is based on the Indian cricket team’s historic win at the 1983 World Cup in England. For Chauhan, this is the second big film whose reins are out of his hands. Chauhan was also supposed to direct Chanda Mama Door Ke with Sushant Singh Rajput but that project has also failed to take off.

Produced by Vishnu Induri and Madhu Mantena and distributed by Reliance Entertainment, '83 is scheduled for release on 10 April 2020. Reliance reportedly came on board as distributor after Kabir Khan and Ranveer Singh were signed.