Mukesh Khanna ready to roll three-film franchise on Indias original superhero from the 90s, Shaktimaan; said to be in talks with a top actor for the role.
Mukesh Khanna in Shaktimaan
Years before we started rooting for the Avengers or exchanged notes on their superpowers with our friends, we used to be glued to our television screens, marvelling at the only superhero we knew — Shaktimaan. Almost 15 years since the Doordarshan show went off the air, actor-producer Mukesh Khanna and the original team are reuniting to create a three-film franchise. The first instalment of the trilogy is likely to go on floors in the second half of 2021.
"Kids across the country write to me, requesting that I create a new season of the series. I know the excitement around the subject hasn't dwindled. Shaktimaan is the first Indian superhero, after all. The makers of Krrish had Rs 150 crore [to make the film] and I didn't, which is why it took so long to develop the plan. Now, everything is slowly falling in place. The project should have rolled by now, but the pandemic disrupted our plans," says Khanna, who played a meek photojournalist and his superhero alter ego in the popular show that began airing in 1997.
The senior artiste is said to be in advanced talks with one of the top actors from the young crop to step into the role. "I can't reveal who we are considering to play the new Shaktimaan. The final announcement will happen when the deal is sealed. Shaktimaan has to be bigger than Krrish and Ra.One . It has to be an Indian franchise with international standards."
(From left) Stills from Krrish and Ra.One
The show's creators, Khanna and Dinker Jani will serve as the creative producers and are currently in the process of finalising a director who will be able to do justice to their ambitious movie. "We will work with our old team, too. The story spans from the Mahabharata till today. Our Satya Guru [Shaktimaan's original avatar] is 5,000 years old. Shaktimaan is made with paanchbhoota [the five elements of cosmic creation]. We've started building the modern story on the concept where a young timid boy goes on to become [invincible]."
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