Setting a record in the Indian film industry, Indian billionaire Dr. B.R. Shetty is investing Rs. 1000 crores (USD 150 million) to produce India’s biggest ever motion picture, Mahabharata. Noted advertising filmmaker, V.A Shrikumar Menon, is directing this magnum opus. Mahabharata will be produced in two parts and is scheduled to go on floor by September 2018 and will be released in early 2020. The second part of the film 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 ancient Sanskrit epic of Mahabharata has been a topic of creative adaptation in different formats for many decades. There have also been efforts to render it, but the success of these has been limited to the stage or serialisation for television audiences. 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.
Dr. B.R. Shetty, Founder and Chairman of UAE Exchange and NMC Healthcare, a keen supporter of Indian arts and culture for many decades, said, “Mahabharata is an epic of all epics. This movie will be a true ‘Made in India’ made for the world. Mahabharata mesmerizes 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 three billion people across the world. Importantly, 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.”