Nandita said she always had Nawaz in mind while writing "Manto", based on the life of Saadat Hasan Manto, whose work continues to remain relevant to this day.

"He has many traits that are similar to Manto a deep sensitivity and intensity, anger, and a dry sense of humour. These innate qualities in Nawaz helped him transition into Manto on screen quite effortlessly," Nandita said in a statement.

She said she needed an actor who could portray many contradictory emotions as Manto was a complex character.

"For instance, he was a person with moral courage but was also scared of going to jail, confident but vulnerable, deeply sensitive yet very angry. You will know Nawaz's range when you see 'Manto'," she added.

Nawazuddin, who has been receiving rave reviews for his performance in Sacred Games, will be seen next in Rome Rome Mein to be directed by Tannishtha Chatterjee, in Debamitra Hassan's "Motichoor Chaknachoor", a fun story on an unlikely couple and "Thackeray", a biopic based on the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.