MUMBAI— This year we were introduced to Major Vihaan Singh Shergill, played by Vicky Kaushal in “Uri: The Surgical Strike” directed by debutant Aditya Dhar and produced by Ronnie Screwvala. The film was based on the real-life terror that took place unprovoked Sep. 18, 2016. Four Pakistani militants, along with 17 Army personnel, were killed in the six-hour gun battle, following which, on Sep. 29, India retaliated with a surgical strike.
The trio is now reuniting for a period-war film that revolves around the mythological character of Ashwatthama, and Kaushal will play the titular role in the yet-untitled film. After “Uri…,” the makers wanted to return with something big and interesting. Dhar has been working on this script since a long time, even before “Uri…” released, and when he sounded out the other two, they immediately jumped on board. The film will be shot later this year.
Son of guru Dronacharya and Kripi, Ashwatthama fought with the Kauravas against the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra war. He was born to the couple as an answer to Drona’s prayers for a son as valiant as Lord Shiva. A “Chiranjeevi” (immortal being, who according to Hindu mythology will last as long as “Kalyug”), Ashwatthama was born with a gem in his forehead that gave him power over all living beings lower than humans and protected him from hunger, thirst and fatigue.
Kaushal, whose forthcoming films include an untitled horror film, Karan Johar’s “Takht” and Shoojit Sircar’s Udham Singh biopic, will begin prep closer to the shoot. Dhar is still neck-deep in research and will go on a recce soon. The film will be shot all over India, and the makers are targetting a mid-2020 release.