Fighter is a 2024 Indian Hindi-language action film directed by Siddharth Anand and produced by Viacom18 Studios and Marflix Pictures. The film stars Deepika Padukone, Hrithik Roshan and Anil Kapoor, and serves as the first film in a planned aerial action franchise.
The film was announced on 10 January 2021. The pre-production was much delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Principal photography finally began in November 2022 with filming proceeding in various schedules across Assam, Hyderabad, Jammu & Kashmir and Mumbai, and wrapped by late-October. The real life Indian Air Force cadets have worked for the film. The film’s soundtrack album composed by the duo Vishal–Shekhar consists of five songs, with Satchith Paulose as the cinematographer. The visuals are handled by DNEG.
Fighter was originally scheduled for a theatrical release on 30 September 2022 but was delayed due to the production delays owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is scheduled to release theatrically on 25 January 2024, coinciding with the Republic Day weekend.
- Deepika Padukone
- Hrithik Roshan as Patty
- Anil Kapoor
- Karan Singh Grover
- Akshay Oberoi
- Sanjeeda Sheikh
- Talat Aziz as Patty’s father
Siddharth Anand narrated the idea of making a big-budget action thriller against the backdrop of fighter jets while shooting the film War (2019). Hrithik Roshan loved the basic premise of the story. During COVID-19 lockdown in India, Anand worked on developing the story further and narrated it to Roshan, who later confirmed for the film. In December 2020, it was reported that Siddharth Anand and Hrithik Roshan are going to reunite for a film after War (2019).
Fighter was officially announced on 10 January 2021, on the occasion of Hrithik Roshan’s birthday. The film is the India’s first aerial action film. It is the first installment in its franchise. The film is produced by Siddharth Anand, Jyoti Deshpande, Ajit Andhare, Mamta Anand, Ramon Chibb and Anku Pande under banners Viacom18 Studios and Marflix Pictures. The film is being made on a budget of ₹250 crore.
Siddharth Anand, the director of the film stated, “We have gone on a different level. The audience has not seen something like this before in India at all. It is something we have not attempted before. It’s just impossible to make a film like this at the cost which we are making it at. It’s not possible. Certain things we are exploring are really special. I can’t talk about it as I want the people to see it when we launch the teaser. Hopefully, it will just blow their mind.” The film is designed for a global audience, and would involve the use of latest technology and filming techniques.
Ramon Chibb, an ex-army officer and writer, wrote the story with help of Siddharth Anand. Later, Anand and his team of writers developed a screenplay of the film in the lockdown under the supervision of Hrithik Roshan. Akshay Oberoi said that the film has “much heavier” action scenes than Pathaan (2023). Anand further retained most of his norm technicians including cinematographer Satchith Paulose, editor Aarif Sheikh, stunt choreographer SeYeong Oh, and action director Sunil Rodrigues. Raj Khatri designed posters of the film.
In September 2022, Roshan started taking workshops and had continued 12-week simulator training and learned the nuances of playing a fighter jet pilot. His training was supervised by Kris Gethin, developing his abdominal muscles and losing weight. In November, he visited air base and the Air Force training academy in Telangana, and also spent time with the pilots and cadets to observe their demeanour and understand the way that they function.
The real life Indian Air Force cadets have worked for the film. The cadets have flown in from Delhi’s IAF headquarters and Dundigal Air Force Academy near Hyderabad.
In January 2021, Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan were officially announced as the leads marking their maiden film together. Roshan portrays Patty, an air force officer. Roshan revealed his character as “young, spontaneous and short-tempered”. Padukone also plays an air force officer and has several action sequences in the film. Both Padukone and Roshan took martial arts training for their roles. Anil Kapoor joined the cast in December 2021. Karan Singh Grover and Akshay Oberoi were roped in by November 2022. In March 2023, Talat Aziz joined the cast to play role of Patty’s father in the film. In May 2023, Sanjeeda Sheikh was confirmed to play a key role.
Principal photography began on 14 November 2022 in Assam. Roshan, Padukone and Kapoor joined in this schedule, that took place in Tezpur Air Force Station. Team returned to Mumbai on 28 November 2022 after wrapping a 10-day first schedule in Assam.
For the second schedule, the team moved to Kashmir on 6 February 2023. Akshay Oberoi also joined this schedule. Team returned to Mumbai on 12 February, after filming at Pahalgam in Kashmir, where a song and few action sequences choreographed by Sunil Rodrigues were shot.
The third schedule was held at Dundigal Air Force Academy in Hyderabad, to shoot Roshan’s character, as an Air Force cadet undergoing training. The third schedule was wrapped in Hyderabad on 6 March.
On 19 March, the Roshan began filming in a Chembur bungalow for the fourth schedule, in Mumbai. In this schedule Talat Aziz joined and some emotional scenes were taken. It was reported that the month long schedule would end on 24 April. Kapoor, via Instagram, shared a behind-the-scenes video of his workout in -110 degrees Celsius for the schedule. The team also shot a 25-minute long climax scenes with action sequence, which reportedly took 120 hours (5 days) to shoot.
For the next schedule production designer Rajat Poddarr and his team built an expansive set that houses the interiors of an air force base, classrooms, and offices at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai. On 14 May, the next schedule was started with Padukone, Roshan, Kapoor and Grover joining the schedule. On 19 May, the team shot combination scenes of Padukone and Kapoor at Chembur, Mysore colony over 3 days. From 22 May, emotional scenes between Padukone and Roshan were shot in Chandivali, with only 20–30 extras to avoid the film’s footage leaks online. The Mumbai schedule was completed in mid-June. Roshan shot inside Sukhoi Su-30MKI for over 12 days. Dramatic scenes between Roshan and Kapoor was shot in late August in Mumbai. In early September, a song featuring Roshan and Padukone with entire cast, choreographed by the duo Bosco–Caesar was shot at Yash Raj Studios, Mumbai. Later in early October, the team wrapped two songs in Italy. Principal photography wrapped by 30 October 2023 at Yash Raj Studios, with filming having lasted 87 working days.
Post-production for the film will begin by early-June 2023, once the film completes its shooting and will go on for six months as the film involves extensive computer graphics and visual effects. The VFX work of the film is done by DNEG.
The music is composed by the duo Vishal–Shekhar. The album consists of five songs, including one emotional song. The music rights are bagged by T-Series.
Fighter is scheduled to release on 25 January 2024, coinciding with the Republic Day.
Earlier in January 2021, it was announced that the film was going to release on 30 September 2022. In October 2022, the release date was announced as 25 January 2024.
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