Remembering Milkha Singh: Do you know how much ‘Flying Sikh’ charged for his biopic ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’?

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Updated: June 19, 2021 12:02 PM

When director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra met Singh to seek his biography rights for the film, the late athlete instantly signed the contract for Re 1.

However, Singh had inserted a clause into the agreement that about 10-15 percent of the profits earned by the film would be transferred to the Milkha Singh Charitable Trust. (Credit: The Indian Express)

Legendary athlete Milkha Singh who breathed his last due to Covid-19 related complications had become a household name after the film ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ based on his biography released in the year 2013. The generations post-1960s which had not seen the ‘Flying Sikh’ sprint, got an instant liking for him after watching the film helmed by actor Farhan Akhtar. When director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra met Singh to seek his biography rights for the film, the late athlete instantly signed the contract for Re 1. In an exclusive interview to the Indian Express, Milkha Singh had recalled how he decided to sign the film for Re 1.

Singh who had only watched movies of his younger days including Mother India, Shree 420, Awaara among others had little clue about the filmmakers who were going to make arguably India’s best sports biopic. Singh told the Indian Express that he had not watched a single movie after 1960 and did not know any actors and directors. However, Milkha Singh’s son, golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, came to the rescue of his father as he was a huge movie fan. Jeev who had been impressed by Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra’s iconic film ‘Rang De Basanti’ and played the critical role in tipping the scales in favour of Mehra over a bunch of directors who were seeking to make a film on the athlete.

Milkha SIngh revealed to the Indian Express that it was his son Jeev who wanted him to part with the story rights for Re 1 for Mehra . Jeev had told his father that he would be willing to offer him a cheque of Rs 1.5 crore but the story rights should be given pro-bono for the film. Eventually, the story rights were given to Mehra for Re 1. However, Singh had inserted a clause into the agreement that about 10-15 percent of the profits earned by the film would be transferred to the Milkha Singh Charitable Trust.

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