“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.