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Liger Director Puri Jagannadh On Getting Mike Tyson Onboard: ‘It Wasn’t Easy, Took One Year’

Puri Jagannadh’s upcoming sports drama Liger is one of the most anticipated films of the year. It stars Vijay Deverakonda and Ananya Panday in the lead. However, it is also no secret that American boxer Mike Tyson will also mark a special appearance in the film, thus making his acting debut in Indian cinema. However, Puri Jagannadh recently revealed that it was not an easy task to rope in Mike Tyson for his film. He shared that it took almost a year to get Tyson onboard. Puri also mentioned that it was Karan Johar who suggested casting Ananya Panday for the movie.

“Liger is a huge budget film because of multiple fight scenes. And we had to shoot this at an international level. We needed many foreign fighters too. Since we were spending so much, we chose to go pan India and in fact global. Then we approached Karan Johar for the collaboration. He then suggested casting Ananya in the film,” Puri said during an interaction with media as cited by E-Times.

“Speaking of Mike, a role was already written in the script for someone like him. And during the table read sessions, we all needed someone like Mike. And then we felt why do we need ‘someone’ like him, why not go ahead and cast him instead? I think that was one of the best decisions collectively we’ve made. It wasn’t an easy job to get him on board. It actually took one year to sign him,” the director added.

However, the director also disclosed that not Ananya Panday but Janhvi Kapoor was his first choice for the film. “I am a big fan of Sridevi ji, so I wanted to cast Jhanvi (Kapoor), but her dates were not available,” he said.

Liger is the first time that Vijay Deverakonda and Ananya Panday will be sharing the screen. In the film, Deverakonda will be playing the role of an MMA artist. In association with Puri connects, Liger is being produced jointly by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. Liger will hit theatres on August 25 this year in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam.

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