- Actors from across several Indian film industries will be cast
- A 2021 release is being targeted
- Team Ramayana hope to avoid long gaps between the three parts
Monday just got a little less blue with the announcement of an ambitious three-part screen adaptation of the Ramayana, shot in 3D and in three languages - Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. The budget will be a whopping Rs 500 crore. Casting details haven't been finalized yet but there are big production and directing names attached to the project: Telugu powerhouse Allu Aravind, ex-Phantom Films founder Madhu Mantena and Namit Malhotra, founder of Prime Focus studios, will jointly produce; Nitesh Tiwari (Dangal) and Ravi Udyawar (MOM) will direct. The Ramayana adaptation is currently in development and aims to begin filming next year.
Both Nitesh Tiwari and Ravi Udyawar spoke about their personal connections to the Ramayana in a press release. "I went with my father and brother to the Ramlila every year and though we all knew the story, it still evoked the same emotions in us when Sita was kidnapped or Raavan's effigy burnt," said Mr Tiwari. "I heard these stories from my grandmother and mother and passed them on to my children. Everybody knows the story of Ram, Sita and Raavan, it's the story-telling that will make our trilogy memorable and I'm putting everything I have learnt into it to make it fun and engaging while staying true to the original," Mr Udyawar said.
Pre-production includes reference work for scenes in Ayodhya; Lanka will be depicted in a wash of gold; Mithila will be green with Nepali architecture. "Money and time are not a problem. Our producers have told us to be fearless and fly. So, we are flying visually," said Nitesh Tiwari. "There are many sci-fi films but only one Star Wars. We have access to the best technology and talent so what better time to let the world see what our country has to offer," said Ravi Udyawar.
Actors from across the several film industries of the country will be included in the cast. A 2021 release is being targeted and Team Ramayana hope to avoid long gaps between the three parts.
The Ramayana adaptation will be the film industry's second epic-in-progress after an even more ambitious Rs 1,000-crore version of the Mahabharata with Mohanlal in the lead role of Bheem. Last heard, however, this project was in trouble after writer MT Vasudevan Nair, on whose book Randamoozham the film is based, asked filmmakers to return the script. Director VA Shrikumar Menon announced in a Facebook post that the film was delayed because of 'complicated financial plans' and also because of his own commitment to another film but promised that it would be made.