Big Bollywood budget for Agnihotri's football movie

A new generation of Indian film-makers is to weave stories around football. "One of the most memorable ‘entry’ shots in Bollywood history is a drenched and dimpled Shah Rukh Khan racing through the football field in Dilwale Dulhaniya La Jayenge. He may not have done a Saptapadi a la Uttam Kumar, but his goal-scoring skills were enough to get the girls going deewana even before Kajol had set sights on her hero. Since then, Arjun Rampal’s tried the soccer act and so has Aftab Shivdasani, but that magic has clearly been missing. Football, of course, has never quite managed to rise above the montage sequences on the Bollywood screen despite Gurinder Chadha scoring so big with Bend It Like Beckham aka Football Shootball Hay Rabba," Pratim D. Gupta wrote in The Telegraph of Calcutta.

But now director Vivek Agnihotri is making a "mega soccer film" with some of the biggest names in Bollywood. “I am making it for UTV and they won’t make anything small after Rang De Basanti,” Agnihotri said. “It is a huge project on the scale of films like Krrish and Don. The game of football is the device I have chosen to tell my story. I am obviously not making a documentary on the sport.”

The film, tentatively titled Football, is being mounted on such a huge scale that UTV has got special permission to shoot the World Cup matches in Germany this summer, the footage of which will punctuate the movie. So, the shooting of the movie officially kicks off with the world’s most-watched sports tournament in June.