Indian football gets a touch of Hollywood


Maidaan makers rope in subsidiary of Oscar-winning VFX company DNEG to recreate the ’60s; eye year-end release for Ajay Devgn-led sports drama

Ajay Devgn in Maidaan

‘Maidaan’ may have missed its June 3 release date, but Ajay Devgn and producer Boney Kapoor are far from worried. The duo are ensuring that the biopic on the late Indian football coach and manager, Syed Abdul Rahim, becomes the most authentic on-screen retelling. To this end, they have roped in ReDefine, a subsidiary of leading visual effects studio DNEG, to recreate the era in which the sports drama is set. DNEG won the Best Visual Effects award for Dune (2021) at the 2022 Academy Awards.

Also Read: Maidaan: Cyclone Tauktae destroys set of the Ajay Devgn-starrer

A still from Dune
A still from Dune

The studio was brought on board mid-year, reveals a source. “A chunk of the film sees the Indian contingent playing international football matches through the ’50s and ’60s. It was under Rahim’s supervision that the Indian team won gold medals at the 1951 Asian Games in Delhi, and at its 1962 edition in Jakarta. The VFX team is hard at work to recreate those decades,” says the source. After stints in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, director Amit R Sharma and the unit headed for an international schedule earlier this year to can footage shots of the games. 

The source adds, “While Ajay and the remaining cast filmed their portions on football grounds, the VFX team now has to recreate some of the old stadiums and their ambience. It will take two months to give the finishing touches. The makers hope to release the film by the year-end.” Producer Kapoor says, “We aim to make Maidaan among the most authentic-looking and well-crafted sports films. We want to recreate the golden era of Indian football.”

Also Read: Maidaan producers deny talks with streaming platform over ‘pay-per-view’ release

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