Setting a record in the Indian film industry, Dr. B.R. Shetty, UAE based billionaire businessman and philanthropist, is investing Rs. 1000 crores (USD 150 million) to produce India’s biggest ever motion picture, Mahabharata.
V.A Shrikumar Menon will be directing the magnum opus, set for release in early 2020. Filmed in two parts, the latter will be released within 90 days of the first part. The film will be shot primarily in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu and will be dubbed into 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 cast and crew. The technical crew will include some of the great names in world cinema including Academy Award-winners whilst the cast will feature the best of talent from Indian cinema and Hollywood. This film will have an identity across continents, with their representatives donning the myriad characters in Mahabharata.
It remains almost impossible to narrate Mahabharata on the big screen except by way of adaptation of M.T. Vasudevan Nair’s award-winning novel, Randamoozham (The Second Turn). This novel narrates Mahabharata through the eyes of Bhima, the second of the Pandavas. The screenplay is written by the writer himself, who holds the record for the maximum National Awards for screenwriting in the history of Indian cinema.
The ancient Sanskrit epic has been a topic of creative adaptation for decades, but this project will be the first of its kind to take the epic to the silver screen at such a grand level.
Producer Dr. B.R. Shetty, Founder and Chairman of UAE Exchange and NMC Healthcare says, “Mahabharata is an epic of all epics. I believe that this film will not only set global benchmarks, but also reposition India and its prowess in mythological storytelling. I am confident that this film will be adapted in over 100 languages and reach over three billion people across the world. I am awestruck by the fantastic screenplay by Sri. MT and I have tremendous faith in the ability of V.A. Shrikumar to paint this narrative on celluloid. His passion and energy are boundless.”
Director V. A. Shrikumar Menon, who has been living the script and researching this project for the past few years, said, “I would like to sincerely thank Dr. Shetty for having immense faith in this project and helping bring it to life with his financial commitment and his innate pride in Indian heritage. We are fully geared to attain the next level of production quality and visual magic, as well as narrative wizardry with this initiative.”