Director Prem’s ambitious outing with Shivarajkumar and Sudeep was finally launched on Sunday amid much fanfare by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and JDS President H D Kumaraswamy in the presence of political honchos and the film fraternity.
“Prem is a good director, Shivarajkumar is a good actor and Sudeep is also talented. When the three of them come together, it will be a well planned film,” said Siddaramaih, speaking at the event.
Along with director Prem and his wife Rakshita, producer C R Manohar, actors Shivarajkumar with his family, Sudeep with his parents, actor-politicians Ambareesh and Jaggesh, producer Rockline Venkatesh, KFCC President Sa Ra Govindu, actor Rakshit Shetty, musician Gurukiran and director Nanda Kishore were spotted.
Director Prem’s wife, Rakshita, said, “I don’t want him to come home till he completes the film.”
Ambareesh said, “I am glad to see big actors coming together, which gives the industry a much needed boost. Prem will come out with a good film.”
Produced by C R Manohar, the film has been titled Kali. According to Prem, the title has many meanings. “Kali means ‘You and me’ or human being. It also means Kalyug, and is a film inspired by Mahabharata. There are many versions of the period drama, and I have come up with my own,” he said.
Interestingly, Prem is also planning to release a book along with the film, an idea given by versatile actor Kamal Haasan, who has also been approached to be part of the project.
“I am keen to get Kamal on board to play a role, and talks are going on but dates and finances are yet to be finalised. As a fine actor and with great knowledge, he is aware of the many versions of Mahabharata. And when I told him my story, he found it interesting,” says Prem, adding that it was while discussing this Haasan told him to write a book too.
“I also felt it was a good idea. So I am going ahead with the film and a book,” he adds.
A period flick with commercial elements, the film will take at least 18 months to make. “Mine is an original line of thought, and I have taken eight months to write it,” says Prem.
The decision on when to go on floors will be made by January, he says.
Like many other recent Kannada films, Kali will rope in talent from overseas. “The first thing I need to look into is the designs from the art department and CG works which will be a huge task. I have passed on my creative ideas to them. This time, all technicians will be from Hollywood,” says Prem, who will start finalising on the rest of the star cast in January.