Farhan Akhtar postpones release of film 'Toofaan' in light of 'heartbreaking' COVID-19 crisis in India

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Mumbai, May 3 (PTI) Actor-producer Farhan Akhtar on Monday said the team of his upcoming sports drama 'Toofaan' has decided to defer the release of the film on Amazon Prime Video amid the surge in the COVID-19 cases in India.

Akhtar took to Twitter and posted a note, informing fans that the Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra-directed movie would no longer release on May 21 on the streaming platform.

The film has been backed by Akhtar and producer Ritesh Sidhwani's banner Excel Entertainment, along with ROMP Pictures.

'The situation in India is truly heartbreaking, and we at Excel Entertainment and ROMP Pictures send our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the pandemic.

'In light of the severity of the situation, our focus is completely on the pandemic and on supporting our employees, their families and in helping the wider community. Therefore, we have taken the decision to postpone the release of our film 'Toofaan' until the situation improves,' the statement read.

Akhtar said an update regarding the film's new release date would be issued in 'due course of time.' The 47-year-old actor also urged people to follow all COVID-19 guidelines and get vaccinated.

Billed as an inspirational sports drama of a goon from the streets of Dongri, 'Toofaan' is set against the backdrop of boxing and charts the fall and triumphant comeback of its lead, played by Akhtar.

The film also features Paresh Rawal, Mrunal Thakur, Supriya Pathak Kapur and Hussain Dalal.

The project marks second collaboration between Akhtar and Mehra post 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag', the 2013 biopic on legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh.

The Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday showed 3,68,147 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, taking the total tally of cases in the country to 1,99,25,604. PTI JUR SHD SHD