A film with his Piku director Shoojit Sircar and another with his frequent collaborator Vishal Bharadwaj were among the projects that were in pipeline for Irrfan Khan but his worsening health prevented him from working on the movies.
The 54-year-old actor, who died on Wednesday after a battle with cancer, was also supposed to work on Amazon series Gormint but had to exit the project due to his health issues.
With Shoojit, who earlier directed him in 2015’s Piku, Irrfan was set to work on the biopic on the freedom fighter Udham Singh.
The filmmaker is now making the movie with actor Vicky Kaushal in the lead and had recently shared his first look from the film.
Ronnie Lahiri, who is producing the project, said in the early days of the production, they decided to wait for Irrfan’s return after his treatment but they mutually decided to move ahead with a different actor.
“We had mutually discussed that he won’t be in a physical situation to do such a complex role and he had asked us to move ahead. He told us before anyone else does a film on that subject he felt it would be unfair if we wait and somebody else does it.”
“Previously, there was another film that we were going to do with him and somebody else did it and we had to shelve it. For him, stories were more important than individuals and we should go ahead and tell this important story of Udham Singh,” Ronnie told PTI.
Titled Sardar Udham Singh, the film is directed by Sircar and written by Ritesh Shah and Shubendu Bhattacharya. It is scheduled to release next year in January.
Before Irrfan’s was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour in 2018, the actor had signed up Bharadwaj’s next, also starring Deepika Padukone.
The filmmaker decided to delay the film in the wake of Irrfan’s health issues.
Besides these three projects, Irrfan was in talks with Anurag Basu for a sequel to Life in a Metro and Gurinder Chadha for another film.
Basu said he had discussed the sequel to his 2007 film with the actor before his illness, which he had principally agreed to do.
“I was supposed to start a film with him. We were talking about Metro sequel. For the Metro sequel were waiting for Irrfan. I didn’t start that film. We had discussed the idea back then and he loved the character and he wanted to do that again. This was one month before he was diagnosed,” Anurag Basu told PTI.
Chadha revealed in a post on Twitter that she had discussed a potential project with the actor before he fell ill.
“Devastated that brave @irrfan khan sadly lost his battle. We had planned to work together and he spent a day at my house discussing our script before he fell ill. I mourn today for one of India’s hugest talents and the worlds greatest actor. RIP baijaan and thank for your amazing work and legacy,” she tweeted.
Devasted that brave irrfan khan sadly lost his battle. We had planned to work together and he spent a day at my house discussing our script before he fell ill. I mourn today for one of India’s hugest talents and… https://t.co/mzLhRhrpQH
— Gurinder Chadha OBE (@GurinderC) April 29, 2020
Director Sai Kabir, best known for making Revolver Rani, had also planned a film with Irrfan and his Life…in a Metro co-star Kangana Ranaut in 2018.
“We were just going on floors with Divine Lovers, everything was set in 2018, but exactly in a month’s gap, things changed. An unfortunate tragedy hit me. And he was diagnosed with cancer,” Kabir told PTI.
“It’s very difficult to even think about that subject because it draws a lot of memories. I don’t want to go there right now,” he added.
Irrfan came back to movies with Angrezi Medium, the sequel to his 2017 hit Hindi Medium. However, his health condition prevented him from promoting the movie, which hit the theatres in March just before the lockdown that began on March 25.