Legendary playback singer Kishore Kumar was also an actor, director and producer in Bollywood. Born on 4th August 1929 in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, Kumar's Bollywood career spanned for nearly four decades from 1949 to 1987. He acted in films like 'Andolan' (1951), 'Naukari (1954) and 'Musafir' (1957). Kishore Kumar also produced and directed some movies in the late 1970s and early 1980s, such as Badhti Ka Naam Daadhi (1978), Zindagi (1981) and Door Wadiyon Mein Kahin (1980), which was his last appearance as an actor.
However, Kishore Kumar’s real interest was in playback singing. SD Burman tapped Kishore for his inner talent as a playback singer. It was Burman who persuaded Kishore to develop his own style.
After dropping 'Munjim' in 1954 and 'Nau Do Gyarah' iin 1957, he went onto sing for several actors. In the 1970s and 1980s, Kumar sang for Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Dev Anand, Shashi Kapoor, Mithun Chakraborty, Vinod Khanna, Dilip Kumar, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Rajiv Kapoor, Aditya Pancholi, Naseeruddin Shah, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol, Anil Kapoor, Rakesh Roshan, Dilip Kumar, Pran, Sachin, Vinod Mehra, Rajini Kanth, Kumar Gaurav, Govinda and more.
After surviving a heart attack in 1986, Kishore Kumar planned to retire and go back to his hometown. Laater in 1987, he suffered another massive heart attack in Mumbai. He died on October 13, 1987, at the age of 58. His body was taken back to his birthplace of Khandwa for cremation.
His last recording was a playback song for Mithun Chakraborty, which was a duet with Asha Bhosle for the 1988 film 'Waqt Ki Aawaz'.
Rumours of the late singer's upcoming biopic have been rife for a few years now and several actors have been approached to play the role of the vocalist who charmed millions.
Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Basu's 'Kishore'
In 2017, on Kishore Kumar's birth anniversary, the 'Barfi' filmmaker had announced that he has roped in Ranbir Kapoor for the legendary musician's biopic, which he had been hankering to make for the past five years.
However, the glitches and hitches were many, and seemingly insurmountable. To begin with, Ranbir Kapoor needed to give dates at a stretch so that the various stages in KK’s life could be captured in their chronological essence. But the actor was unable to set aside bulk dates for Kishore (the bio-pic’s tentative title).
"Ranbir and I are certainly doing Kishore. We’d have gone into it right after Barfi. But then Ranbir got committed to Bombay Velvet. So I decided to make Jagga Jasoos first. Kishore can’t be made in breaks and spurts. It has to be done in one long stretch," Basu had said.
Written by Somik Sen, the biopic was also reportedly waiting for an approval from Kishore Kumar’s family -- his elder son singer Amit Kumar, younger son Sumeet and wife Leena Chandavarkar. Acting on Kishore Kumar’s family’s behalf Amit Kumar had reportedly made it explicitly clear to Anurag Basu that nothing would go into the film on his father without his consent.
Apparently nothing would go into the Kishore Kumar bio-pic without Amit Kumar’s approval, not even the songs! Basu would have to pay through his nose to buy rights for 30-35 Kishore Kumar evergreens from Sa Re Ga Ma/HMV. From these the ones that go in the film would be selected by Amit, Sumeet and their mother Leena Chandavarkar.
According to reports, Anurag and Ranbir were not happy with the pre-conditions imposed on their Kishore Kumar project.
Adnan Sami as Kishore Kumar
In 2019, Adnan Sami was reportedly approached to play a crucial role in Kishore Kumar’s biopic, reported DNA.
The report stated that the now Indian singer, will also lend his voice to recreate some of Kishore Kumar’s classics masterpieces. While the report further mentioned that the news of Adnan Sami being finalised for the biopic will be out very soon as the makers were about to reveal the first look of the film, no official announcements have been made.
Ayushmann Khurrana wants to do Kishore Kumar Biopic
Ayushmann Khurrana, who won accolades for both his acting skills and vocals, has been very keen on doing a biopic on Kishore Kumar. The actor-singer has also confessed that he has been a huge fan of Kumar.
In 2018, in an iterview, Ayushmann recalled about the reports of Anurag Basu making a biopic on Kishore Kumar and went on to joke that the filmmaker should be making it with him.
Ayushmann revealed that he has been singing in almost all his films. Considering that he himself is known to be an actor-singer just like Kishore Kumar, it seems that Ayushmann can resonate with the latter’s character and wants to essay it in reel life too.
While there has been no official confirmation about the abovementioned projects, Kishore Kumar's biopic remains to be a long overdue to his millions of fans.