Best known for his National Award-winning Telugu film Mahanathi (2018) starring Keerthy Suresh, Dulquer Salmaan, and Vijay Devarakonda, writer-director Nag Ashwin is now in the midst of the pre-production for his next. Produced by C Ashwini Dutt, the magnum opus aroused immense curiosity for the casting coup. The multilingual project announced last year, features Amitabh Bachchan, Prabhas, and Deepika Padukone.
Due to the pandemic, the project could not kick off earlier, but Ashwin, who has been fine-tuning the script and logistics, says, “I have had my round of meetings with all three of them separately. Pre-production has been going on for long. We will begin shooting around June-July.”
Spanish cinematographer Dani Sanchez-Lopez and composer Mickey J Meyer have been roped in for the film to be shot pan-India. The two had earlier collaborated with Ashwin on Mahanathi. Veteran filmmaker Singeetam Srinivasa Rao has been brought on board as a mentor for the sci-fi thriller. “I am partial to the sci-fi genre. I have grown up watching these films,” says Ashwin, adding, “I am also fascinated by mythologies. Basically, I like stories that involve magic and illusion.”
Ashwin’s latest directorial venture, X-Life, starring Shruti Haasan and Sanjith Hegde, was part of the Telugu anthology Pitta Kathalu, which dropped on Netflix earlier this month. “Both films happen to be about sci-fi, but they are not related. I began this genre with X-Life, which is about virtual reality and how we believe technology is empowering us but, it is controlling us,” explains Ashwin, who is also producing a Telugu comedy, Jathi Ratnalu featuring stand-up comic Naveen Polishetty.