The Randeep Hooda Saragarhi film that was never made

In 2016, it was announced that Rajkumar Santoshi (known for making classics like Andaz Apna Apna and Damini) will be making a film based on the 1897 battle of Saragarhi. It was fought between the British Raj and Afghan tribesmen. Randeep Hooda was to play the role of Havaldar Ishar Singh. For the role, he grew his hair and learned Sikh martial arts for two and a half years. "The beard was up to my bellybutton. I didn't cut a single hair on my body for two-and-a-half years, like Sikhs do. I really attempted to live that character," Hooda had said in an interview to Film Companion. Sadly, several financial issues made sure that the film was never made. In between, Akshay Kumar starrer 'Kesari, which was based on the same incident, was released and became a box-office success. For his role in the Hollywood film 'Extraction' and seeing the fate of Santoshi's film, Hooda apologized at a Gurudwara before cutting his hair. Who knows, maybe it would have been a great film. But sadly, it was never made and all the efforts put into the role by Hooda went into the drains.