Sonam Kapoor will apparently play the braveheart flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, who was killed in an American plane hijacking.
Grapevine has it that a biopic is being planned on the life of Neerja Bhanot, the 23-year-old flight attendant who saved many lives during the 1986 hijacking of an American airliner in Karachi. And Sonam Kapoor has apparently been signed on to essay the protagonist’s role.
A source says the film will be directed by Ram Madhwani and written by Saiwyn Quadras of Mary Kom fame. While there was no confirmation from the actress’ side, Neerja’s brother Aneesh said that many filmmakers had approached the Bhanots to make a biopic on the braveheart without revealing any other details.
Neerja had joined the airlines after her marriage ended in less than a year following dowry pressure. She was the chief flight purser on the ill-fated Pan Am flight 73 airline that was hijacked by four terrorists on September 5, 1986, when it landed in Karachi. While the three-member American cockpit crew fled, Neerja took control of the situation. She hid the passengers’ passports so that the hijackers could not differentiate between American and non-American citizens, but was killed while shielding three children from bullets fired by the terrorists. Twenty passengers were killed and 100 others injured.
Neerja was awarded the Ashoka Chakra posthumously, the youngest civilian in the country to be bestowed with the honour.