Abhishek Kapoor, director of hits "Rock On" and "Kai Po Che," will begin work on the film once he has completed "Fitoor," a Hindi-language adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations," also for Disney India. The screenplay is by author Ashok Banker, best known for his eight-part novelization of India's other great epic "The Ramayana".
Though a budget was not revealed, Kapoor is planning to make the films on a scale similar to Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" series.
The Mahabharata, a grand tale of two warring clans of cousins dating back to 400 BC, has been adapted numerous times for the stage, television and film. The 1988-1990 television adaptation by B.R. Films for Indian television was the highest rated program of that time. Recent adaptations have not fared as well.
A 3D animated 2013 version by Pen Films titled "Mahabharat" featured a galaxy of Bollywood stars in its voice cast, including Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan and Ajay Devgn, but could not recoup its $8.2 million budget at the box office.
Disney India produced "Arjun: The Warrior Prince," an animated film based on a character from 'The Mahabharata', that found modest success in 2012.
"Mahabharata expresses the universal truth; it has defined my understanding of spirituality and of all humanity. I aim to translate this onto the big screen, engage minds and deliver a world class cinematic experience," Kapoor said.
Related storiesFilMart: BAFTA Launches Hong Kong ScholarshipsLionsgate And Endemol Team Up For Indian 'Warrior''Night Flight' Takes Off in Hong Kong 2014 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLCCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun