UAE based NRI BR Shetty will invest `1,000 crore ($150 million) to produce India’s biggest ever motion picture ‘The Mahabharata’, a press release from Shetty’s NMC Healthcare said on Monday. Shetty is the founder and chairman of Abu Dhabi based ‘Nmc group’, which also includes institutions like UAE Exchange and Travelex. His London-listed NMC Health had acquired Al Zahra Hospital in Sharjah for $560 million last December. Forbes gives his real-time net worth at $3.1 billion as on March 2017.
The promoters of the movie claim that it would be the costliest Indian movie and made in Hollywood style with technicians sourced globally. Hollywood movie The Fate of the Furious (Fast and Furious 8) is reported to be with a budget of $250 million. Recent commercial hit Bahubali featuring Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Tamannaah and Anushka Shetty was made with a budget of `250 crore. Film sources report that ‘Baahubali: the Beginning’ had crossed the mark of `600 crore at the worldwide box office and become the third all-time highest grosser Indian film after PK and Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
The Mahabharata will be directed by noted advertising film maker VA Shrikumar Menon with actor Mohanlal playing the role of Bhima. The Mahabharata will be produced in two parts and is scheduled to go on floor by September 2018 for a release 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, sources said. “I am confident that this film will be adapted in over 100 languages and reach over 3 billion people across the world,” Shetty said.
The film will be an adaptation of MT Vasudevan Nair’s Jnanpeeth Award winning novel Randamoozham (The Second Turn). This novel narrates The Mahabharata 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, sources added.
“A film based on Randamoozham, if it has to do justice to epic Mahabharata, has to be created in epic dimensions to reach a global audience,” Mohanlal said in the press note.