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Friday, February 05, 2016

Indian blockbuster 'Baahubali' looks to repeat its success with graphic novels, games and animation


“Extending the world of Baahubali beyond movies allows us to reach a larger audiences and that is really exciting for me,” said director SS Rajamouli. Baahulbali's producers Arka Multimedia have teamed up with entertainment company Graphic India to build a bigger franchise for one of the most successful Indian films of all time.

In the past, big-budget Indian films such as Ra.One, Krrish 3 and Bang Bang have ventured into gaming with mixed results. Yet, with its larger-than-life appeal, Baahubali could be a trend-setter in the Indian film industry's experiments with digital content as well.

Released in July 2015, Baahubali was a game-changer in several ways. Rather than being produced in Bollywood, the film was made in the Hyderabad-based Tollywood, the centre of the Telugu film industry. Its mix of political intrigue, mythology and adventure, as well its visuals and VFX proved to be an irresistible draw for Indian viewers. It went on to the highest grossing film within India, and the third-highest earning Indian film worldwide.

The epic film focused on the rivalry between two cousin brothers, Baahubali and Bhallala Deva for the throne of the ancient kingdom of Mahishmati. The new projects will feature the principal characters, but also delve into the backstories and legends from the film's imaginary world. They include graphic novels, mobile shorts and an animated project called Baahubali: The Lost Legends.

“The epic storytelling and groundbreaking visuals that SS Rajamouli created have captivated millions of fans including myself, and the future of Indian cinema shall now always be defined as ‘before Baahubali’ and ‘after Baahubali’,” said Graphic India CEO Sharad Devarajan.

Rajamouli is also working on the sequel of the film, Baahubali: The Conclusion, which is likely to release by the end of 2016 or early 2017. Meanwhile, the international version of the film cut by French film editor Vincent Tabaillon is scheduled to be released in countries such as China, Japan and South Korea soon.





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Prabhas Baahubali 2 on track, franchise will continue for a long time: Rajamouli


South film maker SS Rajamouli says he is getting a lot of offers from Bollywood post his blockbuster 'Baahubali: The Beginning' and feels there is a possibility he might team up with Karan Johar for a movie.

'Baahubali: The Beginning' starred Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Tamannaah and Anushka Shetty in lead roles. The Hindi dubbed version of the Tamil-Telugu historical-fiction drama was presented by Karan Johar.

Rajamouli, currently working on the second instalment of the film, says he cannot take any offer unless the project is complete. “Yes I am getting a lot of film offers from Bollywood but all of them know I won’t be available until Baahubali is complete. I cannot consider any offer as of now. But I would love to direct a Bollywood film someday,” Rajamouli told PTI.

When asked if he will direct a film for Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, he said, “It is a possibility, right. You never know.”

There were reports that the second installment, ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’, was getting delayed. The director, however, says the film is on track. “It’s not a ‘sequel’ sequel, it’s a continuation story. It’s on track. We have already started shooting, and have finished two schedules. The last schedule we finished ahead of time, something which never happened before. We are very good with it.”

Rajamouli plans to come up with a third part of the film and make ‘Baahubali’ a franchise. “Yes there will be a continuation in the third installment… There is a big story of Baahubali so it will continue. It is a big franchise and will be there for a long time.”

When asked if there are more films lined up in the franchise, why is the upcoming part titled “The Conclusion”, the director said, “It is the conclusion of the story what we have started. Only that concludes. The world of Baahubali will continue.”

'Baahubali: The Beginning' became one of the biggest blockbusters last year, sweeping not only the domestic box office but also overseas market.

Rajamouli says he wanted the film to be huge but did not expect such an overwhelming response by the audience.

“Unless we hope that it becomes so big we won’t be reaching anywhere. We wanted it to be big, imagined it to be huge. Only thing we didn’t imagine is the kind of response that we received so fast. We thought it will slowly grow on people and other states, it will expand but it exploded like a bomb.”

Though he is riding on huge expectations for the upcoming installment, Rajamouli is unfazed by the pressure.

“No there is no pressure. I don’t take the appreciation of my past work too much in my heart. The past work is done, all the good and bad is over. I never let it weigh on my next project. But I know there is a lot of expectation… I keep that in the back of my mind. I’ll not let it affect my work.”





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More of Baahubali


Blockbuster film franchise will now expand across new stories and media platforms


“Extending the World of ‘Baahubali’ beyond movies allows us to reach a larger audiences and that is really exciting for me,” said director SS Rajamouli. The acclaimed filmmaker was speaking during the announcement of the partnership of Arka Media Works with Graphic India, which will take the epic blockbuster and extend its story world beyond movies into original comic books, novels, animation and video games.

Through comics and animation, millions of fans will finally be able to experience secret stories and hidden legends about the world and characters from ‘Baahubali’ and also get clues about the upcoming sequel.Two brothers competing to rule the greatest kingdom of its age and the epic adventures they must endure to prove they are worthy to one day wear the crown. 

One shall rise to be King of the throne, while the other shall become King of the people. Political intrigue, betrayal, war, action and adventure - through dense forests, epic mountaintops, raging seas and hidden underground caves, Prince Baahubali’s adventures will take him beyond what was seen in the film, exploring different kingdoms, fighting strange and deadly warriors, saving villages from tyrannical warlords, and rescuing the innocent from certain death. 

Graphic, currently in production on a number of digital comics and mobile shorts which will be released later this year, is working on trans-media opportunities and partnerships for the film property across gaming, digital content, novels and merchandise. “We are happy to be collaborating with Graphic India who I believe have the best knowledge and experience in this space,” said Rajamouli.

CEO of Arka Mediaworks, Shobu Yarlagadda said, “Having created many iconic stories and characters, there is no one more equipped than Graphic India, to take the story of Baahubali forward. We are very excited for what's to come.”

Graphic and Arka are also working on a larger animated project, tentatively entitled, ‘Baahubali: the Lost Legends’, which is being developed and produced by Rajamouli, Shobu Yarlagadda, and Graphic India Co-Founder Sharad Devarajan. 


“The epic storytelling and groundbreaking visuals that SS Rajamouli created have captivated millions of fans including myself, and the future of Indian cinema shall now always be defined as ‘before Baahubali’ and ‘after Baahubali’,” said Graphic India Co-Founder and CEO, Sharad Devarajan.





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