‘Roping in real footballers for 1911 will be great’

Everyone knows what a diehard football fan John Abraham is. The actor, who is also a co-owner of Indian Super League (ISL) Guwahati franchise North East United FC, now says that he may just rope in some real football players for his movie production 1911. The film is based on the story of late Indian footballer Sibdas Bhaduri, who captained Mohun Bagan in the historic 1911 IFA Shield final when they defeated the East Yorkshire Regiment to become the maiden Asian team to emerge victorious in the competition.

John is said to be producing and acting in the film which would be directed by Shoojit Sircar. When asked if real football players would be roped in to give the film a realistic feel, John replied in a telephonic interview, “Great idea! Yeah, I think it’s great, but unfortunately the league starts now, and the shooting of the film starts later…Maybe the people who are playing in the league, we can ask them if they want to shoot for the film (later).”

Meanwhile John seems quite confident that ‘1911’, his project with filmmaker Shoojit Sircar who also made ‘Vicky Donor’ and ‘Madras Cafe’ in the past, will draw positive feedback from the viewers. Talking about his project, the actor said, “It’s a truly inspirational football story or rather sports’ story. We are very proud to make this film. If ‘Vicky Donor’ and ‘Madras Cafe’ are any indications to go by, we’ll give the audience an extremely good film.”

He further added, “When people asked me about ‘Vicky Donor’ and ‘Madras Cafe’, I always said, ‘They are different films’, but people never really understood what it meant until they saw the films. I say ‘1911’ will be the first Indian international film…I expect it to do good business not just in India, but if presented well by a forward thinking studio overseas, then we’d get huge results from this film overseas. It’s got that flavour, very international and yet very Indian.”

The actor further revealed that ‘1911’ happened on Sircar’s insistence. “Shoojit said, ‘John, let’s do this together. You’re the only guy (in Bollywood) who understands football and really knows how to play football.’ I felt good about it, and I think it’s a wonderful script.”

The 41-year-old actor is currently busy juggling between his ‘Rocky Handsome’ production as well as his duties as the 2014 FIFA World Cup brand ambassador in India, appointed by Sony SIX.

John was earlier seen playing football on the big screen in the 2007 film ‘Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal’. As for ‘1911’, buzz is that the cameras will start rolling in early 2015 for the project. The film is produced by the actor’s banner JA Entertainment in collaboration with Sunir Kheterpal’s Azure Entertainment.

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Free Press Journal