Former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar announced earlier this year that Rawalpindi Express would be his biopic. As a result of the announcement, the role of the pacer sparked a debate. The film’s Akhtar will be played by singer-actor Umair Jaswal.
On Wednesday, Jaswal took to Instagram and shared a poster of himself wearing Akhtar’s number 14 jersey. “I’m honoured to play the living legend, Mr. Shoaib Akhtar on the big screen in Rawalpindi Express. With Allah’s blessings may we succeed in our endeavours. We look forward to bringing to you a first of its kind biopic film worthy of worldwide recognition,” the ‘Gagar’ singer announced.
Fellow celebrities dropped by to congratulate the Yalghaar actor. Musician Bilal Maqsood wrote, “that’s amazing” while designer Munib Nawaz congratulated him. His brothers, Uzair and Yasir Jaswal also dropped by to show some love.
Under the banner of Q Films Productions, Muhammad Faraz Qaiser directed the biopic, which was written by Qaiser Nawaz.
“The film will span 1975 to 2002 and requires physical transformation to be shown by an actor. Umair Jaswal perfectly fits the role as he is a sports and fitness enthusiast and has worked on his body and fitness level for several months. His dedication is unparalleled and he recognises the gravity of the role. He also recognises the commitment required to bring in the persona of legendary cricketer Shoaib Akhtar live on screen,” Faraz said in a press release.
He shared that the singer has a keen understanding of the bowling technique that Akhtar was famous for and he feels extremely pleased to have him on board. He shared that he and the team are looking forward to starting filming in Pakistan, Dubai, New Zealand, and Australia in December this year.
The singer-actor said that this project “is a dream come true” for him as an actor and how he feels extremely fortunate to be playing the pacer on screen. “His life is an inspiration. He is not just a superstar in Pakistan but for all cricket lovers globally. It is a huge responsibility to shoulder, and I am completely aware of it. I cherish every moment of this journey and I will always treasure the time spent with him preparing for this role. It required a high level of dedication and effort,” said Jaswal.
Akhtar recounted several experiences as well as the ups and downs that he faced/had experienced. These experiences helped him establish himself as an international star. He is today. The Waar actor hopes that the audience will love the narrative they have in store for them.
The rest of the cast has yet to be announced. The film Rawalpindi Express will release on November 16, 2023.