- "COVID messed up everyone's schedules," Rahul Dholakia said
- "Mine was no different," he added
- "I was excited since I first heard of this film," said Srijit Mukherji
The Mithali Raj biopic Shabaash Mithu, starring actress Taapsee Pannu, has a new director. The film was being directed by Rahul Dholakia, who issued a statement on Tuesday that will no longer be part of the team because of scheduling issues. "I won't be directing the fabulous script written by Priya Aven and conceived by Ajit Andhare," wrote Mr Dholakia in a statement and added: "Unfortunately, I won't be part of the dream, but I am, and will always be there for them to realise their dream. COVID messed up everyone's schedules, mine was no different. Ajit has a vision and a plan for the film and the way to realise it. I wish him and the team the very best for it." Taking over from Rahul Dholakia is Bengali filmmaker Srijit Mukherji, who will now be directing the Mithali Raj biopic titled Shabaash Mithu.
Read Rahul Dholakia's full statement here:
Meanwhile, Srijit Mukherji is rather excited to have come on board Shabaash Mithu. Here's what he said in a statement, reported news agency PTI: "I was excited since I had first heard of this film being made and now that I am a part of it I look forward to kick start the journey to bring this exhilarating story to the silver screen soon."
Ajit Andhare, the COO of Viacom18 Studios, the production house backing Shabaash Mithu, said Rahul Dholakia quitting the movie is "unfortunate": "COVID disruptions have required rescheduling of shoot and as a result Rahul is moving on from Shabaash Mithu. It's unfortunate that after sharing and nurturing this dream for a long time Rahul has to part ways. His contribution will remain, I thank him for that and wish him the very best," news agency PTI quoted Mr Andhare as saying.
"Srijit Mukherji will now take over the director's mantle. Srijit has worked with us closely on Ray and our plans of making a cricket film together will now come to fruition. I am sure he will bring all his passion and craft to this dream film," Mr Andhare added. Srijit Mukherji has also directed one short segment in the upcoming Netflix anthology Ray, which is backed by Viacom 18.
Shabaash Mithu is the biopic of women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj and stars Taapsee Pannu in the titular role. The shooting schedule of the movie has been delayed by the pandemic and the makers are yet to announce a release date.
(With PTI inputs)