Bollywood and television actor Sharad Kelkar, who is receiving appreciation for playing Chhtarpati Shivaji Maharaj in recently released Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, has been roped in by the makers of Bhuj: The Pride of India after Rana Daggubati left the project, according to a report in Mumbai Mirror.
Rana Daggubati,who was reported to be playing a lieutenant colonel of Madras regiment in the film, recently opted out of the project due to health and date issues. The report quotes Sharad, who has known film’s director Abhishek Dudhaiya since their struggling days, as saying, “Bhuj has a lot of action and since Rana might take a couple of months to recover. Abhishek offered me this part. I told him I would love to be a part of his debut film. I have a good bond with Ajay (co-star Devgn) sir and Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) sir as well.”
Revealing that he had always wanted to join the army, Sharad told the news daily, “At least I will get to wear a uniform now. I start shooting in a week. I practised judo for six years. That will come in handy now.”
Bhuj: The Pride of India is based on an incident during the Indo-Pak War in 1971. It tells the story of Indian Air Force Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik who was incharge of Bhuj airport at that time. He along with his team and the help of 300 local women reconstructed the IAF airbase that was destroyed during the war.
While Ajay Devgn will be seen portraying Vijay Karnik, Sanjay Dutt will be seen as a local resident Ranchordas, Sonakshi Sinha as social worker Sunderben, Nora Fatehi as a spy and Amy Virk will be seen playing a pilot.
Directed by Abhishek Dudhaiya, the film is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Divya Khosla Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Ginny Khanuja,Vajir Singh, Kumar Mangat Pathak and Abhishek Dudhaiya under the banners of T-Series and Select Media Holdings LLP.
The film is scheduled to be released on 14 August, the occasion of Independence Day.