Director wants Sushant to replace Irrfan

Photo: Sanskriti Media

The director of Ship of Theseus and Tumbbad’s creative director Anand Gandhi has been busy writing his next film - a screenplay unlike any other we have seen out of India before.

Titled Emergence, the film has been in development for the last five years. The story follows four scientists, as they race against a deadly pandemic to save the world from devastation. The screenplay has turned out to be eerily prophetic, as its parallels with our current reality are clear.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gandhi has been making some revisions.

"(Earlier) we had planned to give information about the nature of a pandemic [through the film]. Now that we all know what it's like to be in the midst of one, I don't have to educate the audience about its nuances. So, we have had to make some changes in the script," reveals Gandhi.

Now the whole world has lived through a global pandemic. This has freed Gandhi to focus on the intended crux of his story. He elaborates, "I can directly take the audience to the understanding of host behaviour manipulation of a parasite. The idea that our microbiome informs our behaviour is better understood now than ever before. I want to use a pandemic setting as a deeper investigation into the nature of human identity and social behaviour."

Anand had earlier expressed his desire to cast Irrfan Khan in the film and had even shot some videos of him chatting with other intelligentsia. But after the untimely demise of the Khan, Gandhi plans to approach Sushant Singh Rajput.

He says, “It's unfortunate that I took so long to write it. I wish Irrfan could have been a part of it. Sushant is a dear friend, and I always work on the assumption that he will be part of what I create. I also have Australian actor Hugo Weaving in mind. Most importantly, I also need four women actors for the principal cast.”

The story was initially set to be in 2020, but then after the real pandemic changed the situation the director has now decided to unfold the story in 2025. Emergence is set to go on floor next year.

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