In December 2022, Peepingmoon.com exclusively revealed that Vicky Kaushal is discussing one more film with Laxman Utekar even before their first collaboration, a rom-com co-starring Sara Ali Khan, hits cinemas in mid-this year. While the first film is a social comedy about a married couple opting for the PM Awas Yojana to get a house of their own, their new film is said to be a big-budget warrior drama. And now, we have got further details on the project, produced by Dinesh Vijan of Maddock Films.
Industry sources have informed us that Vicky Kaushal and Laxman Utekar’s next film is a larger-than-life biopic of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, the eldest son of the Maratha empire’s founder and the great warrior king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Vicky has agreed to play the central role, and Laxman has also begun his prep work to mount it on a massive scale. The yet-untitled film will bring to the screen the valour of Sambhaji Maharaj, the second Chatrapati of the Maratha Empire, known for his supreme sacrifice and tactics for winning wars.
Recommended Read: PeepingMoon Exclusive: Vicky Kaushal in talks with Laxman Utekar for a warrior film, produced by Dinesh Vijan
"Laxman Utekar, who has previously directed light-hearted films like Luka Chuppi and Mimi, has been planning to make a film on Sambhaji Raje (as Sambhaji is formally called) for a long time. It’s an ambitious passion project that he is finally set to bring to life, and he is leaving no stone unturned to make it as grand as possible. He has been working on this project for the past six months and has brought on board a team of top-notch creative and technical talents. The writing is finished, and Laxman and his team are currently neck-deep in pre-production. Dinesh Vijan is giving his full support and has sanctioned a huge budget to make this film a truly visual spectacle," the source said, adding further that the makers are eyeing kicking off shooting in the middle of this year.
Sambhaji Maharaj was the second Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire, ruling from 1681 to 1689. He took control of the kingdom after his father’s demise in April 1680. Brought up by his grandmother after his mother’s death when he was two, Sambhaji began studying politics from the age of nine, had strong command over martial arts, literature, and 14 languages, and mastered the art of guerilla warfare. Also known as Chhava (the cub of a lion), he was a courageous king who believed in a strong set of values, and carried on Shivaji Maharaj’s mission and ideas. During his reign, the Maratha kingdom fought many battles against the Mughal Empire, the Siddis of Janjira, and the Portuguese, among others, until being executed by Aurangzeb in the most horrible manner possible. Sambhuji Raje is adored and celebrated throughout Maharashtra for his refusal to succumb to Aurangzeb’s methods and for preferring to die instead of compromising the cause he believed in.
Vicky Kaushal will start shooting for this historical action drama after finishing the Meghna Gulzar-directed Sam Bahadur. The Sardar Udham actor was also supposed to do Aditya Dhar’s The Immortal Ashwathama, but he has apparently backed out of that film for reasons unknown. He was also in talks with Aanand L. Rai for an army-based love story, but that project also didn’t materialize. Vicky has four projects up his sleeve for release this year, of which three are romantic comedies. His film with Sara Ali Khan will be the first release, and it will be followed by Yash Raj Films’ The Great Indian Family, co-starring Manushi Chhillar. He is also doing a Dharma Productions film with Tripti Dimri and a biopic of Sam Manekshaw, the Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and the first Indian Army officer to be promoted to the rank of field marshal. The Sambhaji Maharaj biopic will be Vicky's sixth film based on a real-life character. He has previously played roles inspired by real-life personalities in films such as Raazi, Sanju, Uri: The Surgical Strike, and Sardar Udham, and will soon be seen playing Sam Manekshaw in Sam Bahadur, scheduled to release in cinemas on December 1, 2023.