Malayalam superstar Mohanlal took everyone by surprise last month after he announced that he will be playing the lead role in India’s priciest film ever made, The Mahabharata. The actor will play the role of Bheema in the upcoming magnum opus, which is based on renowned writer MT Vasudevan Nair’s classic Randaamoozham.
Many people seemingly found it difficult to come to terms with the news, as until last year, the costliest film ever made in Mohanlal’s career and in the Malayalam film industry was Pulimurugan that had cost Rs 24 crore for its producers. Speculations were rife on social media that the mammoth project is unlikely to become a reality. However, producer BR Shetty, a UAE-based Indian businessman, has spoken about the film for the first time in order to put all the speculations to rest.
“Mr Shrikumar and MT Vasudevan Nair came to me with Mahabharata and told me it will cost Rs 750 crore. I said to them, may it take Rs 1000 crore to make the film but it should be the best one in the world. Better than Bollywood. Better than Hollywood. I gave my commitment to the film. It is 100 percent confirmed that the film is happening,” Shetty told Kerala’s Red FM.
Earlier in his blog, Mohanlal had addressed the naysayers over the project. “Many have already expressed doubts about this project becoming a reality. It may or may not materialise, but it is wonderful to be part of a big dream and travel along with it,” he had said.
Shetty said that he will be holding press conferences on The Mahabharata around the world in the coming days, during which he is expected to share more details about the project. He also added that the filmmakers are in the process of selecting the remaining lead actors for the film. So far only Mohanlal has been finalised. He also added they have tapped Academy-award winning music composer AR Rahman for the project and is awaiting for his response.
Mohanlal had said that he will be undergoing combat and other physical training in preparation for playing his dream role. National Award-winning choreographer Peter Hein has already become a part of this project.
Mohanlal’s The Mahabharata 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. It will be helmed by debutant director VA Shrikumar Menon and MT has written the script for the film. The project will be split into two parts and will go on the floors in 2018.