PeepingMoon Exclusive: Arshad Warsi to play Dadua dacoit and Pratik Gandhi an IPS officer in Tigmanshu Dhulia's Yash

Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia is gearing up to direct one more dacoit drama—a decade after his critically-acclaimed Paan Singh Tomar, which fetched the late Irrfan Khan a National Film Award in the Best Actor category for his extraordinary performance as a real-life eponymous athlete who was forced to become a rebel against the system. Dhulia announced a dacoit-cop thriller, titled Yash, last week, which will star Arshad Warsi and Pratik Gandhi in the lead roles. The movie, backed by Golden Ratio Films and Yaelstar Films, attempts to show the real face of brave and under-appreciated heroes who risk their lives for the wellbeing of others. And now, we hear the film is inspired by true events. has exclusively learned that Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Yash is based on the life and times of the dreaded dacoit, Dadua. "Dhulia has been working on Dadua Daku’s story for the past five years. He was earlier supposed to make it with Irrfan Khan, but that remained an unfulfilled wish after his death in 2020. The director is now reviving the project with Arshad Warsi playing Dadua, while Pratik Gandhi will step into the shoes of a Special Task Force SSP who was instrumental in killing Dadua and his entire gang in 2007 with his team. The film is an action-packed story revolving around the SSP's long operation to eliminate Dadua," an industry source told us, adding that the film has been titled after the officer as the story is told from his point of view.

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Known as the Veerappan of the North, Shiv Kumar Patel, alias Dadua, was a notorious dacoit who held sway over 500 villages and 10 assembly segments in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. His reign of power was such that politicians needed his blessings to win elections in any of these constituencies. Dadua was wanted for murder, extortion, and kidnapping, and had over 200 criminal charges during his three-decade reign of terror. "Tigmanshu Dhulia’s film is expected to unravel the unholy dacoit-politician nexus in the UP. It focuses on Dadua’s rise to infamy, his conflict with the law, his influential political power and how he was gunned down in July 2007 in the jungles of Chitrakoot. The film will also highlight the career of UP’s most-talked-about encounter specialist and his strategy behind the killings of Dadua and his 10 gang members," the source further added.

Yash marks Arshad Warsi and Pratik Gandhi’s first collaboration, and they are excited to play these two fascinating but strikingly opposite characters based on real people. They will start shooting for the film in January 2023, after finishing their current assignments. While Arshad is currently shooting for Abhishek Saxena’s Banda Singh, Pratik Gandhi recently started Sumit Purohit’s espionage Netflix series, For Your Eyes Only, and will then head to Kunal Kemmu’s directorial debut with Divyendu Sharma and Avinash Tiwari. The Scam 1992 star also has multiple films lined up, which include Lovers with Vidya Balan, Dhoom Dhaam with Yami Gautam, Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan with Taapsee Pannu, and Rahul Dholakia’s firefighter movie, Agni.