Actor-model Milind Soman will play Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in Kangana Ranaut's period drama "Emergency", the makers announced Thursday.
Billed as the story of a watershed moment in the political history of India, "Emergency" is written and directed by Ranaut. She also stars as former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the upcoming film.
The Emergency was imposed by Gandhi for a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977, when the fundamental rights of the people were put under strict curbs.
Ranaut said Soman's "overpowering screen presence and talent" made him the perfect actor to play the role of the decorated war hero.
"Sam Manekshaw had clarity of vision, was a strong-headed individual and his relevance is huge in the film. The film showcases how two very strong-headed personalities, Mrs Gandhi and Sam Manekshaw, worked together to fight the war against Pakistan.
"This chapter of history intrigues me a lot as it delves into how things worked and panned out for them. We are privileged that Milind Sir will be playing this role. I hope this film does justice to his enormous talent and great screen presence," the actor-filmmaker said in a statement.
Soman, whose acting credits include "Rules: Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula", "16 December", and "Bajirao Mastani", said he is looking forward to essaying Manekshaw on screen.
Manekshaw was the Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, and the first Indian Army officer to be promoted to the rank of field marshal.
"I am happy to be working with Kangana. I have loved a lot of her work, especially 'Queen' and 'Tanu Weds Manu'. I am looking forward to working under her direction. Playing Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw is a big honour and the greatest responsibility," he added.
A Manikarnika Films presentation, "Emergency" is produced by Renu Pitti and Ranaut.