A UAE-based billionaire has announced that he will fund a movie based on The Mahabharata with the country’s biggest budget ever.
India is one of the world’s biggest producers of movies, producing more than 2,000 films a year in more than 10 languages. The low cost of production, compared to other places across the globe, has made them known to film everything imaginable (as well as some very unimaginable plots and scenes), but The Mahabharata is coming to change the game.
The UAE-based billionaire B.R Shetty is reportedly investing as much as $150 million into the production of The Mahabharata, making it the most expensive movie ever made in India. It is said that the movie will be shot in several Indian languages (primarily English) and later dubbed in major languages, as it is expected to generate hundreds of billions in revenue and reach 3 billion people.
The movies budget is five times larger than the cost of the 2015 movie, Baahubali, India’s most expensive movie to date.
The plot will narrate The Mahabharata through the eyes of Bhima, the second of the Pandavas, with the popular South Indian actor and singer Mohanlal, who confirmed he has been cast as Bhima through Facebook.
It will be produced in two parts, with the first planned to be released in early 2020 and the second part promised to be released within 90 days of the first.
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayaṇa. It’s a poetic narrative of the Kurukṣetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Paṇḍava princes, and contains philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four “goals of life”.
It is known to be the longest poem ever written, consisting of over 200,000 individual verse lines and about 1.8 million words in total, which explains why it will be released in two parts.
Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, more commonly known as Dr. B. R. Shetty, is an Abu Dhabi-based billionaire of Indian origins.
He is the Founder and Non-Executive Chairman of NMC Health, Chairman of UAE Exchange, Founder, CEO and MD of Neopharma, and Chairman BRS Ventures. He is estimated at a net worth of $3 billion as of April 2017.