Bhatia expressed his excitement and gratitude on social media for the opportunity to share his story, and even offered to discuss his trash-talking strategy with Penn.
“I’m pinching myself. I have no clue what is going on in this life of mine right now. I am blessed to continue to share my story,” he said. “@kalpenn. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for accepting this role. It is an honour to have you play me.”
Penn, who became aware of Bhatia in 2016 while filming Designated Survivor in Toronto, also took to social media to share his reaction as well.
“Lots of us are basketball fans, but there’s only one @navbhatiasuperfan!” he said. “His story of perseverance and unity is incredible, and I’m super excited to bring his superfan story to the (super?) big screen.”
Stampede Ventures, an independent entertainment media company, won the rights to Bhatia’s story against stiff competition and will help produce the film. Industry Entertainment’s Dan Spilo and Rinku Ghei are on board as executive producers as well.
Since immigrating to Canada in 1984, Bhatia's commitment and passion for the game of basketball has expanded to helping his community with the establishment of the in 2018. The foundation is devoted to building and resurfacing basketball courts across Canada in hopes of uniting kids of all backgrounds through the enjoyment of the game.
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