It’s official — Yash Raj Films is making Prithviraj. Starring in the titular role of the 12th century Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan is Akshay Kumar, high on the success of his latest release Mission Mangal, the story of India’s unmanned Mars Orbiter Mission.
Prithviraj is being billed as one of the biggest period movies produced in Bollywood. In the 12th century the Rajput king controlled much of what we today know as Rajasthan, Haryana, and Delhi, some parts of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Historians and folk legends have over the ages — and pages — portrayed Prithviraj as an incredibly brave king who fought off early invasions by Muhammad Ghor of the Ghurid dynasty, including the First Battle of Tarain in 1191.
A year later though, the Ghurids defeated Prithviraj in the Second Battle of Tarain, seen as a landmark event in the Islamic conquest of India.
Prithviraj will be YRF’s first-ever historical film and the makers announced the ambitious project on Akshay’s 52nd birthday on Monday.
Akshay, who earlier this year starred in Dharma Productions’ Kesari, said: “It is truly an honour that I will be playing the role of one of the most fearless and courageous kings of India, Prithviraj Chauhan.
“As a nation, we should always celebrate our heroes and immortalise what they did to propagate the values that Indians lived by.
Prithviraj is our attempt to bring to light his valour and daredevilry.
“Prithviraj was the only person standing in front of a merciless nemesis and the bravery he showed, made him a true Indian hero, an inspiration for generations and a legend. So this announcement coming on my birthday has indeed made it more special for me,” he added.
Directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, who directed the biggest television epic Chanakya and the multiple award-winning Pinjar, will helm the YRF film. Prithviraj will release worldwide on Diwali 2020.
Sanjay Dutt and Manushi Chillar also star in the film.
A source said Dutt, who last worked with Akshay on Blue 10 years ago, will play a pivotal role in Prithviraj that will soon go on the floor.