Nawazuddin is set to play Manto in Nandita Das' film, but casting him wasn't easy

Updated 18 May, 2016 04:12pm

Images Staff

There was pressure on me to cast a more mainstream star, says Das

After Sarmad Khoosat's Manto comes another film on the iconic writer from Pakistan, and this one will star Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the main role.

Also read: Nandita Das on why Manto was the greatest flagbearer of freedom of expression

Director Nandita Das announced this at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, reports Times of India. She revealed that Siddiqui has already done costume tests for the role of Saadat Hasan Manto.

"I have Nawazuddin in mind from the very outset," said Nandita Das, who was in Cannes to finalise the film's shoot plan in Mumbai and Lahore at year end.

"But in India, economics always interferes with art and there was pressure on me to cast a more mainstream star," she continued. "But I absolutely need the kind of nuances and depth that only Nawazuddin can deliver."

About the film, Das said, "It's not a cradle-to-grave biopic but a drama celebrating the life and work of a writer who was a natural rebel, a man who went against the tide without being a conscious activist."

"The film will cover a period of seven years between 1946 and 1952, which was an important phase in the history of the subcontinent," added Das.