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Dubai: B R Shetty to invest Rs 1000 cr in India's most expensive film

Dubai, Apr 17 (PTI): UAE-based businessman Dr B R Shetty is investing Rs 1,000 crore (USD 150 million) to produce India’s biggest ever motion picture, The Mahabharata. This magnum opus is being directed by noted ad man and advertising filmmaker V A Shrikumar Menon.

It will be produced in two parts and is scheduled to go on the floors by September 2018 for a release in early 2020. The second part will be released within 90 days of the first.

“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,” a release from a company owned by serial entrepreneur and B R Shetty, who is backing the film, said.

The film will be a coming together of the crème de la crème of Indian and global cinema in terms of cast and crew. The technical crew would include some of the great names in world cinema, including some Academy Award winners. The cast would have the best of talents from 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 in The Mahabharata! A global team led by an internationally renowned casting director will handpick the cast,” the release said.

It said Shetty has been a keen supporter of Indian arts and culture for over many decades. It remains almost impossible to narrate The Mahabharata on the big screen except by adaptation of 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.

This ancient Sanskrit epic has been a topic of creative adaptation in various formats for many decades.There have also been efforts to render it, but successes have been limited to the stage or serialisation for television audiences. Hence, this project would be the first of its kind to take the epic which has engaged generations of audiences on the silver screen at such a grand level, the release said.

Shetty, Founder and Chairman of UAE Exchange and NMC Healthcare, said the movie would be a true Make in India made for the world and he believed it would not only set global benchmarks, but also reposition India and its prowess in mythological storytelling.

"I am confident that this film will be adapted in over 100 languages and reach over three billion people across the world," he was quoted as saying in the release.

Commenting on the initiative, Padma Bhushan awardee and noted Malayalam writer M T Vasudevan Nair, recipient of almost every literary award in India, including Jnanpith Award and many abroad, 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, Director, 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."

Comment on this article

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Katapadi/Frazer Town,Bangaluru

    Wed, Apr 19 2017


    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • NR, mangalore

    Wed, Apr 19 2017

    All the best .

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • THERESA LOBO, Mukamar,Sharjah - U.A.E.

    Tue, Apr 18 2017


    DisAgree [5] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rampa, Moon

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    Thank u dear

    DisAgree [2] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Naveen, Manglore

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    Shetre donate some amount for community welfare or social welfare..

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Harish Shetty Kumbla, Kumbla

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    All the best shetre :))))

    DisAgree [6] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jamal, Mangalore/UAE

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    BR Shetty - Bhisma Pitamah of this generation

    DisAgree [9] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • prem, moodbidri

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    I don't remember if I had missed a single episode of "Mahabharath" on television during those days, even though we had to walk 3-4 kms to watch this serial (We had no TV set at home that time!)

    Anyways, best of luck...

    DisAgree [9] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jaimini P.B., Manipal,Sharjah

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    Sir..Please accept my Best Wishes...Definitely it will be a Grand Success..You made every person from Tulu Nadu happy.. Clap..Clap..

    DisAgree [11] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nagaraj Shetty, Mangalore / Babu Gudda

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    We wish you all the best

    DisAgree [24] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prakash Rao Payyar, Dubai

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    MAHABHARTA One of the two Great epic (other being the Ramayana). The cultural life of the whole of Indian sub continent and much of the rest of Asia has been deeply influenced by these two great epic poems. They are the most important epic in the world which reflects the philosophy of Indian subcontinent.
    Congratulations to Dr. B.R.Shetty

    DisAgree [17] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • RK, mangalore

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    Very good idea.. It will definitely help to spread Hindu cultural value with related human value to the World. Hope this will resulted in world peace.

    DisAgree [26] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    good 2 watch story 4 children & adults

    DisAgree [22] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • J.F.D SOUZA, Attavar, Mangaluru

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    He has money power. Let him do it so that we can enjoy seeing such megha movie Really good and worthwhile movie.

    DisAgree [19] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anand, Karkala

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    If I trust a person next to me is Mr. B R Shetty, the only person who has dedicated his entire life to the poor and the needy either in India or in Gulf. The decision of investing 1000 Crores is worth and the return would definitely 100 times more. The world wants to experience the rich culture India has since ancient days.

    DisAgree [40] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jagdish, Mumbai, UAE

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    Anand, Karkala..
    How true is your view sitting in Karkala.......

    DisAgree [5] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • mineeth m das, Mangalore

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    Keep it up Shetty sir ..the show must go on..we r so proud of u..this will a big success.. Our support is always there with u shetty sir..

    DisAgree [15] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vicky, Mangalore/dubai

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    200% profit guarantee......may be more++.....because it will release throughout the world.. ..and it is huge budget film.....+ Bollywood & Hollywood actors......all the best.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rampa, Moon

    Mon, Apr 17 2017


    DisAgree [18] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Max and Jessie Rasquinha, Mangalore, Houston/Dallas, texas

    Mon, Apr 17 2017

    Production of each Movie has its own purpose and its own value that will suit the time and opportunity. A Movie such as "Mahabharatha" in different languages will have an attraction throughout the world where we have more than twenty five million Indians outside India. Dr. B. R. Shetty therefore deserves our complements for his initiatives that will enrich India's ancient history, the mythology and the artistic beauty of Mother India.

    India's progress in Bollywood is now widely known all over the world. India's popularity in Arts, Musical Instruments as well as the Music itself is well admired and embraced in many countries, specially in the Western World. We were recently sailing towards the Panama Canal and it was indeed remarkable to witness on the stage a large group of American dancers performing the "Sangham Style" dance in the best quality more than India can produce to the Western world. That shows the thirst and anxiety of learning India's musical and artistic talents from the International world.

    We wish best of luck in the unique venture of Dr. B. R. Shetty in his production of Mahabharatha, and we anxiously wait for the opportunity to witness this unique creation of Mahabharaatha on the American screen sooner or later - sooner the better.

    DisAgree [22] Agree [51] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Mon, Apr 17 2017

    Mahabharata is fiction & in India it is a big hit ...

    DisAgree [57] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rajesh D, Manglore, Dubai

    Mon, Apr 17 2017

    Producing , financing Mahabarath movie is fine. But investing such a big amount may /may not be a wise decision, as many of us have seen the episodes already. However, if he expects 100 crore Indians to watch this movie in theater and if he gets atleast Rs 20 per person then the revenue would be Rs 2,000 crores.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Swamy, Mangalore

    Mon, Apr 17 2017

    It would have been worthwhile if Mr Shetty had invested in supplying electricity in remote rural areas for people to set up low cost TVs. Filmmaker V.A. Shrikumar Menon must have definitely worked out the cost and availability of funds for his project.

    DisAgree [15] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anon, Bangalore

    Tue, Apr 18 2017

    Honestly he's already done and doing a lot. Maybe he doesn't publicize it, nor does the media. But hes invested a lot in India, the last I heard was 100cr or some other sizable amount of investment in Jog Falls too.
    The thing is that when you have 1000 of crores, and you do charity, you have the right to spend some of your 1000's of crores in your dreams and passion too. He's worked for it, built his empire.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Nithin Poojary, Mangalore

    Mon, Apr 17 2017

    Just wondering what would be the Return on Investment, wonder who is his Chief Financial Officer.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lakhshmi, Gorigudda

    Mon, Apr 17 2017

    The novel is based on muyhtology and hope it will be a big sucess may God bless Shetty sir for the work

    DisAgree [53] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Eric Coelho, Mangalore

    Mon, Apr 17 2017

    The real mahabharat TV Serial made by BR Chopra was an epic - Make in India. The recent Mahabharat TV Serial was not even 1% matching to the epic serial. Now we have a Rs. 1000 Crore producer coming for the third time production and release of this serial by 2020. Mark my words it will never be able to match the original one. Success or failure I will write in 2020 when I watch it. I have to say in two words "Wrong Investment". I have to also state of the legend movies "Ben Hur", "Ten Commandents", "King of Kings", "Magnificent Seven" were all epic pictures of the 1960s which Ben hur and Magnificent Seven were remade again which resulted in total failure.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [62] Reply Report Abuse

  • Langoolacharya., Belman/Wash DC.

    Mon, Apr 17 2017

    Original 'Maha Bharth' of BR Chopra with dialogues of Rahi Masoom Raza( a muslim!!!) was real great...I watched all the episodes couple of times....

    My favorite role in Maha Bharath was Karn...who knowing fully well that his party will be defeated...inspite Lord Krisna trying to lure him...refuses to desert his friend..


    DisAgree [8] Agree [44] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Dubai: B R Shetty to invest Rs 1000 cr in India's most expensive film


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