Satyajit Ray's Feluda, Sharadindu Bandopadhyay's Byomkesh Bakshi, Nihar Ranjan Gupta's Kiriti Roy and Syed Mustafa Siraj's Colonel Niladri Sarkar are some of the biggest names in Bangla adventure-mystery literary genre, and their appeal has often transcended pages of the books and onto other media.
And now, another one of Satyajit Roy's immortal characters, the mad scientist Professor Shonku, is all set for its debut on the silver screen. Based on the story “Nokurbabu O El Dorado”, the film will be produced under the banner of Shree Venkatesh Films (SVF) and will be titled “Professor Shonku O El Dorado”.
The film will go on floors in February-March, informed SVF chief Shrikant Mehta in a press conference in Kolkata, adding that preparations have been completed. It will be directed by Satyajit's son Sandip Roy; noted Indian actor Dhritiman Chatterjee will play Professor Shonku in the film, while his well-wisher Nokurbabu will be played by Shubhashis Mukherjee.
Dhritiman Chatterjee said there is already a picture of Professor Shonku in readers' minds from the stories and sketches, and living up to that image will be a challenge. He added that he has already begun preparation for the role.
The character of Professor Trilokeshwar Shonku was created by Satyajit in 1961, with the story “Byomjatri'r Diary” published in the Sandesh magazine. A genius physicist and inventor, Professor Shonku speaks 69 languages and is well-versed in global geography, religion, politics and literature. His companions are his cat Newton and his servant Prahlad, with neighbor Abinash Chattopadhyay and Nokurbabu making repeated appearances in the stories. Satyajit wrote a total of 38 complete Professor Shonku stories, along with two unfinished ones.