Yasir Hussain and Ayesha Omar are all set to star in a film on Javed Iqbal, one of Pakistan’s most notorious serial killers whose surrender in 1999 shook the country.
“We are dealing with the story quite delicately,” writer and director Abu Aleeha said while speaking to SAMAA Digital. “We don’t want to portray Javed’s gruesome crimes as they are usually conveyed. This film is not for sensation.”
On December 30, 1999, Javed Iqbal turned up at the office of an Urdu daily newspaper and surrendered, confessing to have killed 100 boys. He was infamous for delivering details of his crimes to the authorities along with evidence, including photos of the victims. Several bags with children’s clothes and shoes were recovered from the house where he disposed of the bodies in barrels of acid. Javed was found dead in his prison cell in October 2001.
The Untold Story of a Serial Killer: Javed Iqbal will have more to do with Javed’s character, his confessions and the interrogation, Aleeha said. It will delve into the complexities of the human mind, and therefore requires a balance of sensitivity and circumspection. The film is based on the filmmaker’s own two-part book Kukri, the second part of which has yet to be released.
Yasir Hussain was the first choice for the role.
“Whoever has seen Yasir perform in theatre knows he is capable of pulling off any character,” he said. As for the protagonist, a woman police officer, Aleeha wanted a commercial actor with a “glamorous image” that could be transformed completely.
“The amount of effort Ayesha Omar has put in to develop this character will blow the audiences away. I’m glad she’s part of the project.”
Aleeha claimed that the production meets the standard requirements (visuals and sound design) set by leading global streaming platforms such as Netflix, ZEE5 and Amazon Prime, to which the film will be pitched. Filming is expected to be completed before November and a release date will be finalised when cinemas reopen.
Paras Masroor, Rabya Kulsoom, and other television and theatre actors are part of the cast. The film is produced by Javed Ahmed Kakepoto under the banner KK Films.
Abu Aleeha has written and directed several films, including Sheenogai, Udham Patakh, and Once Upon a Time in Karachi. They will hit the screen once cinemas reopen across Pakistan.