Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra, who were seen together in 'Dangal' and 'Ludo', have come together again in the Meghna Gulzar-directed biopic on the 1971 War hero, Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, popularly remembered by a grateful nation by his moniker 'Sam Bahadur'.Sanya, who got good reviews for her role in the Netflix film 'Meenakshi Sundareshwar', made the announcement on Monday to coincide with Meghna Gulzar's birthday. Vicky Kaushal will reprise the title role in 'Sam Bahadur', which is slated for a 2022 release.The film's teaser opens with the memorable words of the poet-lyricist (and the director's father) Gulzar, contextualising the title 'Sam Bahadur': "Kai naamon se pukare gaye, ek naam se hamaare huey (He was called by many names, but he became our own with one)."Field Marshal Manekshaw, who saw five wars in his career and was awarded the Military Cross after World War II, led India as Chief of Army Staff to victory in the 1971 War.Sanya Malhotra plays Silloo (nee Bode), Manekshaw's wife and pillar of strength. Fatima Sana Shaikh, after Lara Datta in 'Bell Bottom', steps into the shoes of Indira Gandhi, with whom the general had an endearing personal equation.
Talking about the expansion of the 'Sam Bahadur' family, Meghna Gulzar said: "I have much to celebrate. There is pride in the commemoration of 50 years of the historic win of our forces in the 1971 War. And it's very exciting to have Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh join the team. Both their roles require a great deal of sensitivity, dignity and composure and I am looking forward to the ladies bringing these characters to life."Talking about her character, Sanya said: "Behind every great man is a woman and Silloo Manekshaw was that support and source of strength to Sam Bahadur. I am honoured to essay this role and bring to light her integral part and influence in the hero's life."Fatima added: "I am very happy to take on the challenge of essaying the role of one of the most influential and talked-about women in Indian history."Welcoming Sanya and Fatima to the 'Sam Bahadur' cast, Vicky said: "Their characters bring more character and substance to the story of 'Sam Bahadur'." He is acting with the two ladies for the first time in his career.Vicky added: "Their characters have been among the most influential personalities we have heard about, and now, the audience will get to see the story of their valour, commitment and resilience. I look forward to sharing the screen with two of the most talented and diligent actors of our generation."