The biopic on one of Marathi cinema’s most loved faces – filmmaker and actor Dada Kondke has now undergone certain changes. Riteish Deshmukh who was to essay the role of Dada, in a Hindi film co-produced by Akshay Kumar and Ashwini Yardi, is no longer part of it. The film which is no longer in Hindi, but Marathi saw Akshay step away from the project recently. Ashvini Yardi is the lone producer now and her production house, Viniyard Films will now make sure that the project sees the light of day. The Hindi movie had been announced a couple of years ago but the movie had run into problems with objections raised by certain members of the Marathi film industry about rights to make a Dada Kondke biopic. Apparently, all of that has now been sorted and the final draft of the script is being prepared.
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Says a trade source, “Akshay Kumar is no longer a part of the Dada Kondke biopic, produced by Ashwini Yardi, which is now being made in Marathi. Riteish Deshmukh was keen to do it initially but it didn’t work out as he took a break from movies and then began his own Marathi production, Mauli. Ashwini is now on the lookout for a fresh face from theatre or elsewhere to play Dada Kondke. He has to be a versatile actor too since the role is a rather challenging one. Such actors cannot be found through a talent hunt."
Mohit Suri was supposed to direct the Hindi film initially with Akshay Kumar and Ashwini Yardi buying the rights of the book, Ekta Jeev by Anita Padhye, based on the life of Dada Kondke.
Now Marathi director Umesh Kulkarni has been roped in to direct the film. A source from the creative team confirms, “Umesh has won multiple national awards and a few international ones as well. He is known for Marathi films such as Valu (The Wild Bull), Vihir (The Well), Deool (The Temple) and Highway. He and writer-actor Girish Kulkarni have together churned out the most acclaimed Marathi movies of recent times - Valu and Deool. There are no objections on the film. The makers were thinking of Mohit when they were planning to make it in Hindi with Riteish Deshmukh in the lead but now the search is on for a fabulous actor from Marathi theatre or cinema to play this very challenging role. Currently, Ashvini is busy with Netflix’s first orginal movie Chopsticks, which is being directed by her husband Sachin Yardi and stars AbhayDeol, Mithila Palkar and Vijay Raaz. Once the script of Dada Kondke is finalized they will start searching for the actor to play the veteran actor-producer.”
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Krishna Kondke, popularly known as Dada Kondke, was a Marathi actor and film producer, who was famous for his double-meaning dialogues in movies. He was credited with introducing the genre of sex comedy to Indian cinema in general and Marathi cinema in particular. Dada Kondke entered the Guinness Book of World Records for nine of his movies (the highest number of films) running for 25 consecutive weeks at theatres and attaining silver jubilee.