Friday, December 11, 2009

Reliance BIG Pictures snaps up 'Raavan'

Releases in March 2010
Mani Ratnam's 'Raavan' may well be the 'Apocalypse Now' of Bollywood, considering its development hell and never ending, torturous shoot. However the film makers can breathe a sigh of relief as Reliance BIG Pictures have confirmed that they will distribute the film.

Rumours were abuzz that BIG Pictures had backed off from the project halfway into filming, but the company`s CEO Sanjeev Lamba assured that they are indeed financing 'Raavan'. "We are co-producing the film with Madras Talkies (Ratnam`s production house). We are associated with the film from day one. The reports that we backed off are not true," Lamba told reporters.

Another good news, there is finally a release date for 'Raavan'. According to Lamba, the film will hit theaters between Match and April 2010. He confirmed that filming has been completed and the project is now in post production stage. "The film is now in the post production stage. We hope to release it globally in March-April. We are proud to be associated with Mani Ratnam, one of the finest directors in the country. Our association with Mani Ratnam goes back to `Guru`," Lamba said.

'Raavan' has faced dozens of delays during filming. Production was halted back in April when director Mani Ratnam suffered a heart attack. There have been quite a few changes in the cast, and some big names were fired from the sets. Bipasha Basu was hurriedly roped in the film and was cast as Mandodari, the wife of Abhishek Bachchan's character. She equally hurriedly fired after she had a spat with the director. None of her footage that was shot will appear in the final cut of the film. Also, Govinda faced some flak from the director after he arrived late at the set when he had to do a key scene for the film. As a result the scene was not shot at all.

The budget of 'Raavan' also supposedly skyrocketed during filming. None of the producers are willing to spill details of the costs incurred. All we know is that 'Raavan' is one of the most expensive films shot in India. When asked about the budget, Lamba said, "We don't talk about the budget of the film. I can tell you that it is one of the biggest films being made in the country."

The Hindi version of 'Raavan' stars Vikram, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Govinda and Priyamani. The Tamil version, titled 'Ravana' stars Vikram, Prithviraj, Karthik, Prabhu Ganesan and Aishwarya Rai. Oscar winner AR Rahman is working on the music for the film at the moment.

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