Variety has secured exclusive access to a leaked image from an untitled project headlined by Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, which is currently shooting in the U.K.
The film is based on the real life story of mining engineer Jaswant Singh Gill who saved the lives of 64 miners who were trapped in a mine at Raniganj Coalfields in eastern India in 1989, with Kumar playing Gill. It is produced by Indian film company Pooja Entertainment and helmed by Tinu Suresh Desai, who previously directed Kumar in “Rustom” (2016).
The image was clicked on set by a Kumar fan in a Yorkshire field while the crew was filming, despite Pooja Entertainment keeping the security tight and the location isolated. Variety understands that the production company has blocked over 100 acres for shooting and that the film could be the largest Indian production in terms of scale to take place in the U.K. The film is expected to wrap filming in the U.K. by the end of August.
This is the third successive film shot in the U.K. by Pooja Entertainment, all starring Kumar. Ranjit Tewari’s hijack drama “Bellbottom,” shot in Scotland, was one of the first projects globally to start and complete its entire shoot during the coronavirus pandemic. It went on to become the first major post-COVID Bollywood theatrical release. In the film, Glasgow and its environs stood in for Amritsar, Delhi and Lahore.
An untitled police drama, also directed by Tewari, with Derbyshire standing in for the hills of northern India, shot in late 2021 and is currently in post.
Pooja Entertainment is headed by Vashu Bhagnani, Deepshikha Deshmukh and Jackky Bhagnani. Deepshikha Deshmukh was unavailable to comment.