Malayalam superstar Mohanlal is set to play the lead role in a movie, Mahabharata, to be produced on a whopping budget of Rs1,000 crore ($150 million) by UAE-based Indian businessman BR Shetty.
"I feel honored that my name has been put forward for the role of Bhima, ever since the news of a cinematic adaptation of MT Vasudevan Nair's Randamoozham started doing rounds. I feel humbled and honored at the same time that the author himself has envisioned me for Bhima," Mohanlal said in a statement released to the media.
Mohanlal praised BR Shetty for his courage and vision for the movie. "A film based on Randamoozham, if it has to do justice to the epic Mahabharata, it has to be created in epic dimensions to reach a global audience. And that is where I salute a visionary businessman like BR Shetty to have come forward to invest Rs1000 crore in this project, which is going to be a gift for generations to come," the actor said.
"I am sure the commitment has risen from his love for the Mahabharata that we all have been brought up with and his duty to showcase the timeless epic to the world as a truly Indian project. Only a person with great vision and passion for our culture and heritage can think of funding a project of this scale," Mohanlal added.
Mahabharata will be a big screen adaptation of writer MT Vasudevan Nair's novel Randamoozham. Talking about the film, the Padma Bhushan and Jnanpith Award recipient said, "I am extremely happy with Dr BR Shetty's belief in the potential of the story and his passion and commitment to take it to global audiences. I sincerely congratulate him for his vision in backing a project of this scale."
VA Shrikumar will direct this mega-budget movie. The director said, "I would like to sincerely thank Dr BR Shetty for having immense faith in this project and help bring it to life with his financial commitment and his innate pride on Indian Heritage. We are fully geared to attain the next level of production quality and visual magic, as well as a narrative wizardry with this initiative."
Mahabharata will be shot in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu, and it will be dubbed in all major Indian and foreign languages. The movie will be made in two parts and will go on floors in September 2018. The first part will be released in 2020 and the second part will hit screens 90 days after that.