“Kalki 2898 AD,” a groundbreaking Indian science fiction epic directed by the visionary Nag Ashwin. The narrative, woven with threads of suspense and futurism, boasts an ensemble cast featuring Prabhas, the iconic Amitabh Bachchan, the versatile Kamal Haasan, alongside Deepika Padukone and Disha Patani.
This cinematic odyssey, born as “Project K,” embarked on its journey in February 2020, marking the golden jubilee of Vyjayanthi Movies. However, destiny had a twist, and the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic pressed pause for a year. Yet, undeterred, the team rallied in July 2021, weaving a mesmerizing tapestry at the futuristic set of Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.
Hold your breath for the staggering ₹600 crore (US$75 million) budget, propelling “Kalki 2898 AD” to the summit as the most expensive Indian film ever crafted. The musical notes of Santhosh Narayanan, the lens magic of Djordje Stojiljkovic, and the editing finesse of Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao add layers to this visual symphony.
Picture this cosmic odyssey on the silver screen, where Prabhas steps into the shoes of Kalki, with Bachchan embodying Ashwatthama and Kamal Haasan channeling Kali. The magnetic pull of Deepika Padukone and Disha Patani, coupled with the talents of Pasupathy and Saswata Chatterjee, completes this stellar constellation.
The genesis of this epic traces back to the visionary Nag Ashwin, fueled by the success of “Mahanati” in 2018. With plans laid in August 2019, the film was officially christened in February 2020, signaling 50 years of cinematic brilliance by Vyjayanthi Movies.
In this odyssey, Deepika Padukone, making her Telugu debut, joins the ensemble in July 2020, adding a surprise element to the plot. Amitabh Bachchan, with a role so pivotal it was the working title at one point, and the return of Disha Patani and Kamal Haasan amplify the cinematic allure.
Before the first clap echoed, “Project K” sought the canvas of high-end technology and futuristic vehicles. An alliance with businessman Anand Mahindra laid the foundation for authenticity. A futuristic set rose in Hyderabad’s Ramoji Film City, capturing the essence of this cinematic escapade.
Initially, A. R. Rahman was in the symphony, but as fate would have it, Santhosh Narayanan took up the baton. Djordje Stojiljkovic steered the lens, replacing Dani Sanchez-Lopez, and Singeetam Srinivasa Rao mentored this magnum opus.
Now, envision the grandeur on the big screen. Filming commenced in July 2021, with Prabhas and Padukone joining the cosmic dance in December 2021. A unique approach unfolded, with shooting spaced over months, allowing time for gadgetry and preparation.
The saga faced a twist when Prabhas’s knee surgery led to delays, but the momentum surged. Scenes unfolded in Ramoji Film City, with Bachchan even gracing Raidurg metro station for a sequence. The climax of shooting was anticipated by January 2023, but the reel continued to roll into March 2023.
Amidst the reel drama, the curtain lifted on the film’s first look in July 2023. A tale of criticism and revisions unfolded, eventually finding its stride at the 2023 San Diego Comic-Con, where the new title and teaser dazzled the audience.
As we anticipate the climax, mark your calendars for May 9, 2024. “Kalki 2898 AD” is not just a film; it’s a cosmic voyage, a rendezvous with the future, inviting you to witness the magic on the silver screen. The trailer awaits in April 2024, promising a glimpse into this celestial odyssey that transcends time and space.