Rawalpindi Express is in the books no more. Former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar announced that he has distanced himself from the “dream project” and legally revoked all rights to his life’s story. He attributed the cutting of ties to “failure to resolve disagreements amicably” and “constant contractual violations”.
On Saturday, he released his official statement on his Twitter account. “Very sadly, I would like to inform all of you that after careful consideration of months, I have decided to disassociate myself from the film Rawalpindi Express and its makers by terminating the agreement through my management and legal team,” he wrote.
He said that though he tried to stay afloat, his biopic just didn’t work out as he had hoped. “Definitely, it was a dream project and I tried a lot to prevent [this] and stay in the boat but unfortunately, things were not going well,” he said, explaining the reasons. “Failure to resolve disagreements amicably and constant contractual violations finally resulted in us to cut ties with them.”
Akhtar said he has formally and legally left the project and will retaliate if the filmmakers decide to go through with it. “I have left the project after complying [with] all legal protocols of revoking the rights to the story of my life. Severe legal action will be taken if the makers continue to make biography film and use my name or life story events in any way,” he added.
Scheduled to release in November this year, the “first foreign film about a Pakistani sportsman” was announced in July last year. The director, Muhammad Faraz Qaiser, said he was actualising an idea he had in 2016 and it felt like a dream come true for him.
In November, singer-actor Umair Jaswal confirmed rumours, saying that he will be playing Akhtar but soon after, he changed his decision. This month, he took to Instagram to share that he will not be playing the ex-cricketer’s role due to “creative and personal reasons”.