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Epic Mahabharata to be retold as most expensive Indian film

The Hindu epic Mahabharata to be made into a film which in turn to become India’s costliest ever made with a budget of INR 1000 crore. To be funded by the UAE billionaire B R Shetty, the film is to be made based on the script titled ‘Randamoozham’ (Second Turn) written by the Jnanpith laureate Malayalam writer M T Vasudevan Nair.

“The Mahabharata is an epic of all epics. This movie will be a true ‘Make in India’ made for the world,” said Shetty, the founder and chairman of UAE Exchange and NMC Healthcare. “The Mahabharata mesmerises as well as brings focus on life and living. 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 3 billion people across the world.”

To be directed by ad filmmaker V.A. Shrikumar Menon,  the film’s story is to be told from the perspective of Bhima, the second of the five Pandava brothers. Malayalam superstar Mohanlal has been cast for the Bhima character in the film.

“I have read MT Vasudevan Nair’s novel Randamoozham many times and have been deeply influenced by it… I feel honoured that my name has been heard for the role of Bhima ever since the news of a cinematic adaptation started doing rounds. I feel humbled and honoured at the same time that the author himself has envisioned me for enacting Bhima,” Mohanlal said.

The film will dwarf the budget of one of India’s most expensive films, South Indian star Rajinikanth’s upcoming 2.0, reportedly made on a budget of $62 million. Production is set to begin on September 2018 with a release planned for early 2020. It 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 best of Indian and global cinema in terms of cast and crew, said a release, with the technical crew “including Academy Award winners”.

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