Working on 'Ramayana' trilogy for a global audience: Mantena
Producer Madhu Mantena is working on an ambitious, three-part retelling of Ramayana from Valmiki's standpoint and he is confident that the story will have a global appeal with its never-before-seen visuals. The live-action trilingual film series in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu will be directed by Dangal fame Nitesh Tiwari and Mom director Ravi Udyavar. The screenplay is written by Sridhar Raghavan.
We are trying to tell Ramayana for posterity: Mantena
Mantena, who has backed films such as Ghajini, Lootera, Queen, and Udta Punjab, has joined hands with producers Allu Aravind and Namit Malhotra to bring the adaptation to the big screen. "We are trying to tell Ramayana for posterity. It's fortunate that all of us have the opportunity to tell Ramayana in its glory in today's time," Mantena said in an interview.
Ramayana was adapted for TV in 1987
"I keep citing the example of Mangalyaan and how India built a world-class satellite at a fraction of cost. This is our Mangalyaan, we are making this for the world, (but) it is from India," Mantena added. Ramayana has already seen an adaptation in 1987 by Ramanand Sagar, which is considered a cult classic in television today.
My team is narrating the epic from Valmiki's standpoint: Mantena
Mantena said, "My team is narrating the epic from Valmiki's standpoint and it will be a never-before-seen world that they're creating. We are telling Valmiki's Ramayana and sub-stories that are there. It is a straight telling of a straight story that all of us know."
We are not trying to reinterpret the epic: Mantena
The producer hopes that the trilogy will reach young audiences who will finally get to know "what great stories we have had but never had the opportunity to explore them in all their glory." Asked about how cautious the producers are given that films that have anything to do with religion land in trouble, Mantena said they're not trying to reinterpret the epic.
Casting will be announced by end of year
Mantena did not reveal details about who all have been approached but said since it's a pan-India film, the makers will reach out to whoever suits the role better. "We are in conversation with actors and we are hoping we will get all the actors we want. It's a long process. We will announce the casting around the end of the year," he added.