In Rawalpindi Express, said to be a biopic on the former cricketer, the actor is set to essay the role on the big screen.
formidable pop culture icon, Umair Jaswal [formerly known as the lead singer of music group Qayaas] has a thriving music career, but also dabbles in acting. And, it seems he is set to take on his most ambitious role yet.
The musician/actor is gearing up to play the role of former cricketer and current commentator Shoaib Akhtar in an upcoming biopic. The former cricketer, who had a reputation for being one of the fastest bowlers in the world, was also cricket’s most controversial figures during his heydays.
His surprisingly strong albeit arbitrary run during the debut season of Indian Premier League (IPL) as a member of Kolkata Knight Riders, which is co-owned by Shah Rukh Khan, remains an unforgettable moment in cricket history.
According to a press statement, Rawalpindi Express is written by Qaiser Nawaz and will be directed by Faraz Qaiser, who is based in Dubai and will produce the film through his production house called QFilm Productions.
Meant as a tribute to Shoaib Akhtar, the press statement notes that Umair Jaswal has signed on to essay the lead role. Apart from Jaswal, other familiar faces will also be a part of the high-profile project.
For Umair Jaswal, this project is not an ordinary one. Said the actor, “This project is a dream come true for me as an actor. I feel extremely fortunate to portray Mr. Shoaib Akhtar on screen. His life is an inspiration to several youngsters in Pakistan. 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 this. I am cherishing every moment of this journey and I will always treasure the time spent with him in preparing for this role which required a new level of dedication and effort. He has recounted several stories and experiences of the ups and downs he has faced in life en route to becoming an international star cricketer. I hope that the audience loves this narrative and gets inspired.”
Given that the film will be telling a narrative from the time period of 1975 to 2002, Umair Jaswal will undergo physical transformation to make the performance as authentic as possible. To be shot in Pakistan, Dubai, New Zealand, and Australia, the journey will begin next month, starting December 2022.
For Jaswal, it is a great way to make a comeback to the big screen. His music career is well-established, but this film will give him a bigger room to showcase his acting skills. His other acting projects include Yalgaar, Mor Mahal (television debut), and Raahi, a series where he explored different parts of Pakistan as host, writer and producer with music by Sarmad Ghafoor and direction helmed by the very talented Zeeshan Parwez.
Apart from Rawalpindi Express, among other high-profile films on sportspersons in the post-cinema revival era includes the very memorable and critically acclaimed film, Shah, with actor-director Adnan Sarwar essaying the role of the iconic Pakistani boxer, Syed Hussain Shah.
Whether Rawalpindi Express can outdo or stand tall next to Shah will be answered when the film releases next year.
– The film is scheduled to release next year on November 16, 2023.