The nationwide lockdown put the brakes on Taapsee Pannu’s sports drama based on the life of ace cricketer Mithali Raj on the silver screen, but the pre-production work on ‘Shabaash Mithu’ has been underway. Producers of the biopic are eagerly waiting for removal of the worldwide travel restrictions since the biopic of Indian women’s cricket team skipper requires shooting in stadiums of London.
The COO of Viacom 18 Studios, Ajit Andhare says, “We need to wait until it’s possible to shoot in locations of UK. Right now we are listing venues while adjusting the dates suitable for crew members. The process of location hunting has been a challenge as recce is out of proportion now and we require to have more relied on pictures for determining whether a venue is good for shooting. As a producer, I am more interested in doing something that haven’t seen before.”
The producer accepts that Covid-19 and lockdown have put a lot of effect on the movie’s progress, with the casting director conducting auditions online. “The process of pre-production has shifted a lot from usual ways, but continued in these months. We are working at initial parts like casting and figuring out ways to the ensemble cast. The director Rahul Dholakia along with scriptwriters is finalizing the screenplay, and the music is being composed.”
Although Ranveer Singh’s upcoming cricket drama ’83’ is on-front line due to its Christmas release, the producer believes Mithali’s journey is not well known and hence, will entice the audience. “As a cricket-loving nation, we remember every story about the cricketing heroes, but ‘women in blue’ who are similarly established in the profession have been much ignored. This irony brings a huge opportunity from a storytelling perspective,” says Andhare.