'Ramayana' to be made in English

Mumbai: The story of "Ramayana" has been told and retold through TV series, movies, cartoons and animation films multiple times but now three young filmmakers are adapting the classic in English to cater to the global audience.

Directors Vineet Sinha and Sean Graham with Creative Director Ronnie Allman from the US want to recreate "Ramayana" as they feel Indian mythological stories need to be told to the world.

With the help of latest technology, the makers claim the film is going to be at par with Hollywood movies like "Lord of the Rings" and "Planet of the Apes."

"Hollywood, Japan and China make and market their stories such as Batman, Superman, Star Wars and Pokemon to the whole world. But Indian stories are not as well known," Vineet told PTI. Director Sean Graham says they want to narrate the tale of "Ramayana" in 3D and Imax.

"Considering India's most expensive films cost about USD 25 million, so for making 'Ramayana' the cost would be twice of that. We need studio level support to make that possible."

For Vineet and Sean, the biggest challenge is to balance the expectations of the audience both in India and abroad. "We want this film to appeal to the fantasy action adventure audience who will watch 'Lord of the Rings', 'Planet of the Apes'. We are also making sure people at home (India) don't feel too distanced with our portrayal," Vineet said.

According to Ronnie Allman, creating the mythological era would be a huge challenge.

"Creating a world that is thousands of years old means heavy designs. We have to make sure we are keeping true to the time, while also adding our own spin on things.

"The biggest challenge has also been the most fun to figure out. How do you get a Rakshasa (demons) to fly in the air after being hit by Hanuman's gada (mace)," he added.

The story of "Ramayana" has been narrated to audience several times but the director duo insists the portrayal of 'Hanuman' and 'Ravana' will be exciting for people to watch. "We believe he (Ravana) was a very wise, rational, caring, creative, strict and humorous ruler. We see his ten heads as ten human characteristics that everyone possesses," Sean said.

Vineet thinks, portrayal of 'Hanuman' (Lord Ram's devotee) will excite everyone the most. "He is a blend of expertly crafted prosthetics with very light CGI (computer generated imagery)," he adds.

The duo are looking forward to cast mainly Indian actors and shoot it in English. The movie will be dubbed in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, French and several other Indian and
global languages.

"We want most of the key cast to be Indian, while characters like 'Hanuman', 'Angad', 'Kumbhkarna' should be whoever can pull off the complexity of having motion capture,
prosthetics, and CGI the best," Vineet said. The makers are looking to raise Rs 50 lakhs by crowdfunding on soon.

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