Varun Dhawan (Photo credit: STRDEL/AFP via Getty Images)
By: Mohnish Singh
Film enthusiasts were thrilled to know that Varun Dhawan and Sriram Raghavan had reteamed for a new project after the rousing success of their first collaboration Badlapur (2015). The two creative forces were set to work on a war biopic titled Ekkis, based on the life of the Param Vir Chakra awardee Arun Khetarpal.
However, rumours were doing the rounds lately that the much-awaited project has been shelved. But when a senior journalist contacted director Sriram Raghavan and asked him about the same, the filmmaker said that the film is not shelved but has been delayed due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
“No, it is not shelved. We were supposed to shoot in September this year. Preparation was to start in April. But then we all know what happened. Ekkis has been pushed forward to next year. I need specific weather in September-October to shoot in battle locations. So even if Covid recedes, we will have to wait until September 2021,” said the filmmaker.
Raghavan went on to add that Varun Dhawan is quite psyched up about playing Arun Khetarpal in the upcoming biopic. He added, “In fact, he called me a while back. Poor chap must be bored in quarantine. I told him he must get in shape for the role. I do not want Ekkis to be just another bio-epic. I want it to be reflective of the soldier’s personality. Varun has to do a lot of preparation. For Andhadhun (2018), Ayushmann Khurrana had to learn to play the piano, even if it was just three musical pieces. Varun has to work a lot harder to look convincing. He must go on location, meet other soldiers, meet Arun’s family. He needs to understand the language of a soldier, the agility, and the alertness, to begin with. If I were to climb into a tank, I’d probably need a chair. Varun has to jump into the tank as if he belonged in it. We also need to source the artillery and the tanks, etc.”
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