South heartthrob Dulquer Salmaan and Sonam Kapoor have been roped into play the screen adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s 2008 novel, The Zoya Factor. Filmmaker Abhishek Sharma has just completed the final draft of the script and the film is reportedly set to go on floors in August. It is slated to release on April 5 next year. This is the first time that we’ll see Sonam and Dulquer share screen space with each other. The film is being co-produced by Fox Star Studios and Aarti and Pooja Shetty.
Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, the film’s director, Abhishek said, “Cricket woven into a rom-com and touching on superstition and luck, it’s an amazing book for a screen adaptation. The book has many layers, characters and tracks, so it took Neha Rakesh Sharma some time to pen a tight screenplay and Pradhuman Singh to write the dialogues. Now, we’ve gone back to Anuja who’s happy with the script to polish it and work on additional dialogues as nobody knows the characters better than her.” Indeed it is more challenging for Abhishek to make the film given that the book is a bestseller and fresh in people’s minds.
In the film, Dulquer will be seen essaying the role of Nikhil Khoda, the captain of the Indian Cricket Team and Sonam will be seen as Zoya Singh Solanki, an advertising agent. “She was the first person that came to my mind as she’s as bubbly as Zoya and after seeing Neerja, I’d sent her an autographed copy of the book requesting that she read it. We both got busy with our respective commitments after that but a few months later, Sonam checked with Aarti, a close friend of hers, on the status of the screen adaptation,” Abhishek revealed to the tabloid.
As far as Dulquer is concerned, Abhishek confessed that he wasn’t too exposed to his work until Aarti showed him the trailer of Mani Ratnam’s OK Kanmani. “I knew immediately that this was the boy we were looking for. In the book, Nikhil is from the North but in our film, he hails from the South but speaks good Hindi,” reveals the director, adding that Dulquer is a brilliant actor with expressive eyes and makes a great pair with Sonam. “I later saw parts of Bangalore Days and Comrade in America and was most impressed.”
Lately, he did a quick photoshoot with his lead pair. “We didn’t get to chat much but I’m sure it’s going to be a great shoot as they respect each other’s work,” said Abhishek. Dulquer, who is a cricket enthusiast, will start prepping for his part closer to August when the film goes on floors. Sonam and he will both carry out readings and attend workshops around that time.