Dr. B R Shetty to Finance Epoch-making Screen Adaptation of ‘Mahabharata’


Abu Dhabi: Dr. B R Shetty, the UAE-based prominent NRI businessman, is investing Rs. 1,000 crore to produce India’s biggest-ever motion picture, ‘The Mahabharata’, to be directed V A Shrikumar Menon, noted advertising filmmaker.

The film, to be produced in two parts, is scheduled to go on the floors by September 2018.  Set to be released in early 2020, the second part of the film will be released within 90 days of the first, according to an official statement issue here.

Shetty, Founder and Chairman of UAE Exchange and NMC Healthcare, said the movie would be a true ‘Make in India’ made for the world. “I believe this film will not only set global benchmarks, but also reposition India and its prowess in mythological storytelling. I am confident that the film will be adapted in over 100 languages and reach over 3 billion people across the world,” he said.

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 technical crew would include some of the great names in world cinema, including some Academy Award winners while the cast would include the best of talents from the Indian cinema, as well as some big names from Hollywood. “This film will have an identity across continents, with their representatives donning the myriad characters. A global team led by an internationally-renowned casting director will handpick the cast,” the release added.

“It remains almost impossible to narrate The Mahabharata on the big screen except by adaptation of noted Malayalam novelist M T Vasudevan Nair’s Jnanpeeth Award-winning novel ‘Randamoozham'(The Second Turn), which narrates the epic through the eyes of Bhima, the second of the Pandavas.

The screenplay is written by the writer himself, who holds a record of maximum national awards for screen writing in the history of Indian cinema,” the release said.

Commenting on the initiative, M T Vasudevan Nair said he was extremely happy with Shetty’s belief in the story’s potential and his passion and commitment to take it to global audiences. Shrikumar Menon,  who has been living the script and researching for this project for the past few years, said, “We are fully geared to attain the next level of production quality and visual magic, as well as narrative wizardry with this initiative.”