From the seminal, shirtless moment on the balcony at Lord’s, to the inglorious Chappell years, many would say his has been a career tailormade for the silver screen. That possibility may soon become reality, courtesy the production house Alt Balaji, which is planning a biopic based on the book A Century is not Enough, about the cricketing career of former India captain Sourav Ganguly.
For those not in the know, Alt Balaji is a subscription-based video on demand platform under Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms Ltd. Launched in April last year, Alt Balaji seeks to create original and tailor-made content for mobile phones, tabs, and desktops, catering to most major Indian languages.
Two months ago, a five-star hotel in Kolkata was the venue for the launch of A Century is not Enough, which Sourav calls an ‘experience based book’ that he has co-authored, about his unforgettable journey from Kolkata’s Biren Roy Road to the balcony at Lord’s, right up to the Indian Premier League. In the book, Sourav describes his journey thus: “It was like driving a Rolls-Royce one day and sleeping on the pavement the next.”
(Read this story in Bangla here)
According to sources within the production house, the management has already held a round of talks with Sourav in Mumbai, and Alt Balaji representatives were in Kolkata recently, too, though it is not clear whether they discussed the matter further. The sources say Sourav is keen to see a renowned Kolkata director at the helm of the biopic, though Ekta reportedly favours a Mumbai director.
In recent times, two silver-screen biopics of two legendary Indian cricketers were decent commercial successes – Sachin: A Billion Dreams, a docu-drama in which Sachin Tendulkar played himself, and M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, in which Sushant Singh Rajput played the former India skipper. How Sourav plays it is yet to be seen, but this much is certain, when it does begin, the film will be shot in locations across the world, including, of course, the iconic Lord’s balcony, where that one gesture signalled a complete change in attitude of the Indian cricket establishment.
In Sourav’s own words, “I have had a few discussions with Balaji, though nothing is final yet. I’ll have more details once we take this forward.”
From all accounts, the results will be fruitful. So here’s looking ahead to a new kind of ‘dadagiri’.