After winning a bronze for women’s boxing at the London 2012 Olympics, mother of two Mary Kom will now have her life captured on the silver screen in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali-produced biopic. The film will be directed by art director turned filmmaker Omung Kumar.
Bhansali, acclaimed director of Bollywood films like Black and Saawariya, was roped into the project after Kumar presented a detailed script based on the boxer’s life a month before the Olympics were due to start. Kumar, who had done extensive research in Kom’s hometown in Manipur, had acquired permission for drafting her life into a script and the possibility of a Bollywood film.
Speaking to Reuters, Kom says: “At first, I thought he (Kumar) was joking but then he did some research around my village and spoke to people, so I knew he was serious.”
The five-time women’s boxing world champion also told Reuters that she hoped for a little bit of romance to spice up her on-screen debut and not just the sweat, tears and grime that had gone into moulding her life as it is today.
“I hope they show some romance in the film,” she reveals. “That’s also important, right?
Bhansali told PTI: “It is an inspiring story that touched my heart. Not many films are based on biopics of living people, so this is a rare experiment. I am proud that I am part of this film.”
Last week Kom met both Omung Kumar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Mumbai. When asked if she would like to play the lead role and depict herself on the silver screen, the 29-year-old said: “They will show my struggle and how difficult it was, but I don’t know who will play me — that is up to them.
“I cannot act, I can only box.”
Omung Kumar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali have previously worked together on films such as Black and Saawariya.