The project hails from outside the Bollywood mainstream. But it brings together Prabhas, the reigning king of Telugu-language, or Tollywood, regional cinema, and Padukone as a model turned actress who is now regarded as Bollywood’s leading lady.
It is being produced by C. Aswani Dutt’s Vyjayanthi Movies and will be released in time to commemorate the outfit’s 50th anniversary in 2022. Nag Ashwin (“Mahanati,” “Yevade Subramanyam”) will direct.
Padukone tweeted: “Beyond Thrilled! Cannot wait for what we believe is going to be an incredible journey ahead…”
Ashwin tweeted: “I believe actors and projects find each other… Glad this is the story that chose to find you…can’t wait to start building this world together..and ur character, thts a surprise for another day”
Ashwin’s blockbuster “Mahanati” was a biopic of the actress Savitri. Prabhas and Padukone are no strangers to blockbusters themselves. Prabhas headlined the “Baahubali” franchise that grossed $333 million worldwide. His credits also include “Mirchi,” “Darling,” and “Mr. Perfect.”
Padukone starred in “Padmaavat” and “Bajirao Mastani,” and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” amongst a string of commercial successes since her Bollywood career took off with “Om Shanti Om,” starring Shah Rukh Khan. Earlier this year, Padukone won much acclaim playing an acid-attack survivor in Meghna Gulzar’s “Chhapaak,” co-produced by Fox Star Studios India and her own outfit KA Productions. She is due to star in the Bollywood remake of “The Intern,” but that is on hold because of the death of co-star Rishi Kapoor. Her “83,” co-starring Ranveer Singh, is ready for release, but Indian cinemas remain shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prabhas’ next film is the multi-lingual “Radheshyam,” directed by Radha Krishna Kumar (“Jil’), presented by Gulshan Kumar and T-Series and produced by UV Creations. It also stars Pooja Hegde, Bhagyashree, Murli Sharma, Sachin Khedekar, Priyadarshi, Sasha Chettri, Kunaal Roy Kapur and Sathyan. The film is set for a 2021 release.