It is an ambition of every Indian filmmaker and actor to make a film on Mahabharata. From Bollywood actors, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, to director SS Rajamouli and many others have expressed their desire to make a film on this timeless epic. While it may take many years for these filmmakers to fulfil their ambition, Malayalam superstar Mohanlal is now all set to narrate Mahabharata from Bheem’s perspective. The actor officially announced on Monday that his much-awaited film based on MT Vasudevan Nair’s classic Randaamoozham will go on the floors next year.
The 600-page book was then re-written into a screenplay with around 190 scenes and the film will be made into two parts. “The film will go on floors starting September 2018 and we expect the release by early 2020. It will have master copies in five languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and English) with an international version being with an adapted screenplay to suit Hollywood standards.”
In a video message posted on his Facebook page, Mohanlal said he doesn’t really remember the number of times he read Randaamoozham and always wanted to bring the epic tale to the big screen. And he said that the film is happening because of ad filmmaker VA Shrikumar Menon’s relentless efforts. “I grew up listening to the tales of the Mahabharatha. I consider myself lucky to be named to play Bheem. I am thankful to everyone and MT Sir for believing in me,” said the actor. Shrikumar will helm this mega-budget film.
Talking about casting, the director said Mohanlal would essay the role of Bheema. “The film is seen from the point of view of Bheema and his emotional turmoil. Though the film will include cast members from across the world, we were sure that only Mohanlal would be able to play the role of Bheema.”
Originally planned at a budget of Rs. 850 crore, Shrikumar says it is the producer, BR Shetty (Chairman of UAE Exchange), who said it should be made with a Rs.1000-crore budget. “As he sees it, no one should be able to attempt a film like this again. As it is an immortal epic of India, he said it should be a film that takes Mahabharatha to the world. It should be as popular as Greek Mythology after the film releases.”
The film will be shot primarily in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu and will be dubbed into other major Indian languages and leading foreign languages. “The film will be a coming together of the crème de la crème of Indian and global cinema in terms of its cast and crew. The technical crew would include some of the great names in the world cinema including some academy winners,” the statement said. There will be some big Hollywood names too rubbing shoulders with Indian stars.
“This film will have an identity across continents, with their representatives donning the myriad characters in ‘The Mahabharata’! A global team led by an internationally renowned casting director will handpick the cast,” said the filmmakers in the statement.
Interestingly, Baahubali director SS Rajamouli also said that it has always been his dream to direct Mahabharata in an epic scale. In fact, Rajamouli discussed the project with Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan before Baahubali 2.
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