National Award-winning film director Aditya Dhar is gearing up for his next, “The Immortal Ashwatthama”. He says that the film should be a big canvas project, adding that he has always been fascinated by the titular mythological character.
“One of the reasons why I chose to weave a story around a mythological character like Ashwatthama from ‘Mahabharat’ was that, though all the characters in that epic are celestial, personally I felt that Ashwatthama is a character with all the flaws that even we have — ego issues, jealousy, anger. These flaws made him human. I think we can connect with him and I find him relevant even in the present time. He is an immortal character, which means he is supposed to be alive even now. So you see, Ashwatthama is a character of the present time,” Aditya told IANS.
The film will be produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Vicky Kaushal is to play the protagonist.
“Scripting my concept into a film is a little complicated because I also want the story to be accessible to a wide audience and therefore I needed time. So, basically I am utilising this period of lockdown to work on that — work on pre-production,” added the director whose last release “Uri: The Surgical Strike” was a blockbuster.
The entertainment industry, like any other, is expected to face a tough time economically due to the current global pandemic, and Aditya feels everyone will have to redesign the business side of storytelling.
“Firstly every story has its correct budget and ‘Ashwatthama’ is a big canvas film. Now, one has to understand the mathematics of our business. In India we cannot make a film of Rs 500 crore and expect fast recovery. We made ‘Uri’ for Rs 28 CR and it looked like a film with a budget of around Rs 60 crore. So basically we are a team of people who can offer you a grand-looking film within a small budget,” he said.
“I am a fellow from a middle-class family, and I know the art of ‘paisa bachao’, I am quite ‘jugadu’ that way. Having said that post-COVID-19, we really have to think about a new design of budget — how to change the percentage of profit etc. Hopefully, we will sort that out, because Ronnie is best in business,” Aditya signed off.