(Photo credit should read STR/AFP via Getty Images)

According to reports, National Film Award-winning actor Ayushmann Khurrana is leading the race to play Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, also commonly known as Swatantraveer Savarkar, in filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar’s next directorial venture. Producer Sandeep Ssingh of Sarbjit (2016) fame is producing the film.

The project, which was announced a couple of days ago, is set to be mounted on a huge scale. If Khurrana goes on to sign the film on the dotted line, it will mark his first collaboration with Manjrekar, who has directed several notable films in Hindi and Marathi languages, including Vaastav (1999), Astitva (2000), and Natsamrat (2016).

The makers of the film were reportedly in talks with two leading actors to play the titular role – Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao. “The bid was between Rajkummar Rao and Ayushmann Khurrana. The team is clear on one fact – they need a terrific performer to pull off this challenging role and they zeroed in on Raj and Ayushmann. Both of them were spoken to, for the film and it seems the team might have expressed their interest in one of them already,” a source close to the development tells a publication.

The source goes on to add, “Ayushmann has a slight edge over Raj. Rajkummar has many films lined up which he needs to shoot next, whereas Ayushmann clearly has delivered better box office numbers than Raj on average. The budget of this film will be high, so they want a bankable star and Ayushmann is their first choice. They are already in talks and it needs to be seen if they mutually agree on the project anytime soon.”

Meanwhile, Ayushmann Khurrana will next be seen in Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui and Anek. Both films are ready and will enter theatres as soon as the coronavirus situation gets better in India. In addition to Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui and Anek, the actor also has Doctor G in his pocket. The film is expected to get off the ground in the second half of 2021.

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Tags: Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, Mahesh Manjrekar