Kangana Ranaut to re-shoot major portions of Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi; Here's why!
No longer a patchwork shoot, Kangana Ranaut to re-shoot major portions of Manikarnika in a 45-day schedule; producers apparently allot additional Rs 20 crore for the last leg
Even as Kangana Ranaut and Sonu Sood are caught in a war of words over the latter's last-minute exit from Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi, the decision to replace the actor during the patchwork shoot has been called unfeasible by many.
In the latest development, mid-day has learnt that major portions of the period drama are now being re-shot with Ranaut at the helm, thus enabling the replacement of Sood with Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub in the eleventh hour. What was to be a 10-day patchwork shoot has now apparently turned into a 45-day schedule and will see the filming of several plot points that were missing in director Krish's original cut.
A source from the unit reveals that the decision was taken after the producers, upon seeing the rushes in May, felt the film deviated from the approved script. "During the first screening, the producers noted that the movie didn't adhere to the script written by KV Vijayendra Prasad.
There were glaring discrepancies in character establishment. For instance, Jhalkaribai's [Ankita Lokhande's character] bond with Rani Laxmibai was not woven well into the narrative, which, in turn, made the climax jarring. It was decided that this track would be reworked in the patchwork shoot. Since Krish had committed his dates to the NTR biopic, the makers decided that Kangana would lead the unit.
However, when they began the shoot last month, they realised that they would have to re-shoot several portions, if they were to be honest to the script. Rani Laxmibai's emotional journey was reduced to fleeting mentions in the first cut. Plot points like her marriage and the loss of her first child needed to be brought to the fore. It was then that a collective call was taken to film several chunks of the period drama again," says the source.
A closed door meeting between the makers, a month ago, saw them agree upon increasing the budget. "The producers have sanctioned an additional R20 crore for the smooth functioning. The 45-day schedule will be spread across three venues — ND Studios in Karjat, Film City and Kamalistan. The film will retain several sequences from the original cut, especially the ones shot inside the fort," adds the source. We hear, Hollywood action director Nick Powell has been brought on board to assist in filming of key action sequences.
Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub
On the cards is the shoot of a festive song featuring Ranaut and Lokhande. "It will be choreographed by Ganesh Hedge and shot in Kamalistan from September 11 for five days."
Rumours are rife that the biopic will miss its release date of January 25. But the source insists that Ranaut is keeping an eye on the finish line. "Kangana will need to show the first cut by mid-October. The teaser is expected to launch on Gandhi Jayanti, with the trailer being targeted for mid-November."
The recent developments bring one to the million-dollar question: Will Ranaut be sharing directorial credits with Krish? "That is yet to be discussed. It will come up only after Kangana has delivered the film to the producers' liking."
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