In what might turn to be one of the biggest casting coups of the year, Priyanka Chopra has been confirmed as the lead opposite Salman Khan in Ali Abbas Zafar’s upcoming film Bharat.
The film is an official adaptation of the 2014 Korean hit, Ode To My Father. It will also mark Chopra’s return to Hindi films 2 years after her departure to Hollywood to film television series Quantico in 2016.
The director confirmed the news saying, “Bharat is Priyanka’s homecoming to Bollywood [Hindi film industry] after having proved herself as a performer in a global TV show, Quantico, and in Hollywood. Bharat is rooted in India and its culture, spans over seven decades and travels across the world. Priyanka is the biggest Indian artist globally today and a perfect fit for the film as she brings to the table her incredible talent and international appeal.”
Zafar has already enjoyed two very successful films with Salman Khan in Sultan (2016) and Tiger Zinda Hai (2017). This would mark his hat-trick with Khan. The arrival of Chopra on board will lend the film a global credence to go with Khan’s mass popularity.
It will also mark the reunion of the two actors who were last seen together 10 years ago in God Tussi Great Ho (2008).
In a press statement, Chopra said, “Bharat it is! I’m looking forward to begin shooting this film and working with Salman and Ali again after a considerable time. I’ve learnt a lot from them in our previous collaborations and am excited to see what this one has to offer. I’m also looking forward to working with Alvira and Atul and the entire team of Bharat. To all my well-wishers who’ve been so patient and supportive… thank you for your constant support and I’ll see you all at the movies!”
While the film’s source, Ode To My Father, went on to become one of the biggest Korean hits of the year 2014, Zafar maintained that the original will only mark the starting point for the film.
In a quote, the film’s producer Atul Agnihotri said, “That film is just the starting point for ours. Bharat starts in 1947 and ends in 2000. It is the journey of a country and also a person, both of whom go by the name of Bharat. We are very happy to welcome Priyanka to the Bharat family. We couldn’t have asked for anyone better to play the role.”
The shoot for the film has already begun. Director Zafar even shared a picture from the first day of the set with Salman Khan ready to give his first take.
— ali abbas zafar (@aliabbaszafar) April 16, 2018
Dressed in a simple grey t-shirt and jeans. Khan looks to be playing a younger self of his character. The actor is expected to age through the film, while he traverses the key events in independent India’s history.
The film is likely to be released on Eid 2019.