Sandeep Singh Sees Ranveer Singh As Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Madhuri Dixit As Jijabai In ‘The Pride of Bharat’


New Delhi: In a monumental endeavor to retell the storied legacy of one of India’s legendary rulers, producer-turned-director Sandeep Singh is set to etch Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s heroics on the canvas of Indian cinema. Taking the director’s chair for the ambitious project, Singh brings forth “The Pride of Bharat – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj”, which promises to be a historic epic not confined by linguistic barriers, as it is slated for release across Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Marathi.

Sandeep Singh articulates a pressing need to illuminate the figure of Shivaji Maharaj for audiences far and wide. “Despite the familiarity, the depth of Shivaji’s history often goes unnoticed and unexplored. A figure of such magnitude warrants meticulous research, a responsibility we are committed to upholding in this dramatization,” says the impassioned storyteller.

The grand vision shaping “The Pride of Bharat” encompasses a captivating portrayal of the illustrious Maratha leader. Singh is confident about his prime choice for the titular character, nodding towards none other than the acclaimed Bollywood powerhouse, Ranveer Singh. His past collaborations with Ranveer in “Bajirao Mastani” (2015) and “Ram Leela” (2013) have fortified his belief in the actor’s unstinting dedication—an attribute pivotal to breathing life into Shivaji Maharaj’s persona.

Sandeep recounts, “Ranveer’s transformative commitment was unmistakably evident when he consented to shave his head for ‘Bajirao Mastani,’ a testament to the rigor we envisage for Shivaji’s portrayal.” With Ranveer’s innate connection to Mumbai and familiarity with Marathi, he emerges as the forerunner to don the revered mantle. As the script reaches its final form, the director plans to extend a polished proposal to his first choice, hopeful for affirmative consent to play the iconic role.

However, the story’s breadth is not unilateral, focusing equally on the influential maternal figure in Shivaji’s life—Jijabai. “Her influence was instrumental and will receive its deserved spotlight. The way she sculpted Shivaji’s early ventures into warfare and his subsequent sacrifices will be integral elements of our narrative,” reveals Singh. In the absence of the late, great Sridevi, revered for her commanding screen presence, Sandeep gravitates towards Madhuri Dixit-Nene to grace the role of Jijabai. Dixit’s versatile acting prowess and formidable experience render her an exemplary choice to depict Jijabai’s profound strength and courage.

The announcement of this cinematic project rides on the heels of Sandeep’s recent critical acclaim for “Safed”, a film that has charmed audiences and critics alike with its distinctive narrative approach. Alongside this, “Main Atal Hoon” stands as another feather in the director’s cap, having captivated viewers with its poignant portrayal of the late Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Drawing from his growing repertoire of successful productions that blend historical reverence with cinematic innovation, Sandeep is poised to transform “The Pride of Bharat” into an epochal offering to film enthusiasts and history devotees alike. Envisioning a shoot schedule to unfold by year’s end, audiences can anticipate this magnum opus to not just recount, but reinvigorate the spirit and the tales of bravery that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj embodies, ensuring his legacy resonates with generations to come.

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