There is a sudden surge in mythological movies that filmmakers are making with big budgets and A-list stars. Both in Bollywood and down south, some major production houses are putting their money into modern-day stories inspired by our mythological heroes. Television has proved time and again that despite how old they may get, stories of our Indian epics and involving gods and goddesses never go out of fashion. Here’s a look at some of the films that are planning to cash in on that frenzy.
1. Brahmastra: One of the most-anticipated films, this one has been under production for a while. Besides being Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor’s first project together, the film has upped the ante with its ambitious plot. Brahmastra has been planned as the first of a trilogy with superheroes involved. Brahmastra is a weapon of Hindu God Brahma, who is called the creator of universe. Director Ayan Mukerji has explained that the title Brahmāstra resonates with the “ancient wisdom, energies and power”, and that it is a “contemporary film with ancient elements.” Ranbir apparently plays a man with special powers named Shiva, while Alia Bhatt’s name is Isha. The title logo of the film was revealed on Maha Shivratri at Kumbh Mela in 2019.
2. Ram Setu: This film starring Akshay Kumar was announced with much pomp and hype. It is an action-adventure revolving around the mythical bridge that Lord Ram is said to have built in order to rescue his wife Sita from Ravana. Jacqueline Fernandes and Nushrratt Bharuccha also feature in the cast. Abhishek Sharma is directing the film. Akshay has said that the story represents strength, bravery, love, and Indian values that have “formed the moral and social fabric of our great country. Ram Setu is a bridge between generations past, present and future.” The film’s cast and crew flew to Ayodhya for its Mahurat.
3. Adipurush: This film is also said to be based on the epic Ramayana and features Prabhas as Lord Ram, Kriti Sanon as Sita and Saif Ali Khan as Lankesh. The film is being directed by Tanhaji maker Om Raut, being shot simultaneously in Telugu and Hindi. The film is being made in 3D and will be heavy on CGI. The film stirred up a controversy soon after it was announced, when Saif Ali Khan said that his role of Raavan is humane and will “justify his abduction of Sita”. The actor had to apologise for his statements after people took offence. Raut said he chose Telugu star Prabhas for the titular role as the actor has the depth required to essay the character.
4. The Immortal Ashwatthama: Aditya Dhar and Vicky Kaushal are coming together once again after Uri: The Surgical Strikes for the upcoming superhero movie based on Ashwatthama, a mythological character from Mahabharata who was the son of guru Dronacharya and was cursed to stay immortal. Some sources have said that Sara Ali Khan has been signed to star opposite Vicky and will be seen performing some high-octane action scenes in the sci-fi mythological film.
5. Ramayan: Yet another trilogy based on the Ramayan was announced by producers from south and Hindi film industries. Producers Allu Aravind, Madhu Mantena and Namit Malhotra (Prime Focus) announced in July 2019 that they will be making Ramayana for the big screen. Nitesh Tiwari and Ravi Udyawar are set to direct the three-part series which will be shot in 3D and released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh had informed that actors from various film industries will be cast in the three-part film. The makers are targeting a pan-India as well as global release.
6. Mahabharat: It was announced in 2019 that Deepika Padukone is set to play Draupadi in an upcoming version of ‘Mahabharat’. Apart from bringing the character of Sita to life on the big screen, the actress was also set to turn producer for the film along with Madhu Mantena. Calling this as her ‘most ambitious project’, Deepika had said in an interview that both the production scale and the budget of the costumes are going to be huge. She had also revealed that this Mahabharat will be told from Draupadi’s perspective. The film was supposed to have a Diwali 2021 release, but that there has been no update on it in a while.