Aditya Dhar breaks silence on putting The Immortal Ashwatthama on backburner: “The kind of vision I had for the film is too big for the mathematics to work for Indian cinema”

Filmmaker Aditya Dhar recently shed light on the status of his ambitious project, The Immortal Ashwatthama, starring Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan. Initially slated for a February 2023 shoot, Kaushal’s scheduling conflicts prompted his departure, with rumours of Ranveer Singh stepping in. However, even that didn’t materialize, leading to the project’s hiatus. Dhar attributed this to the film’s ambitious nature.

At the trailer launch of Article 370 on Thursday, which is co-producing, Aditya Dhar said, “The film is on the backburner now. I will be very honest with you – the kind of vision I had for the film is too big for the mathematics to work for Indian cinema. The VFX quality that we were looking at, nobody has even strived for that yet. Unfortunately, until the technology here becomes cheaper or there is increase in footfalls in cinemas, till then I will have to wait and watch.”


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Adding further, he said, “I will give you an example – James Cameron thought of Avatar 27 years ago but he waited for the market to go up and for technology to come to that level where he can actually present it. I am no James Cameron. But again, we have to make sure for the excellence and intent. If we have to achieve that, there cannot be any mediocrity.  Even if it is the prime time of my life, the film has to be brilliant. Once the film is made, it exists for next 200-300 years. It can’t be mediocre, where my intent is wrong that I want to make money out of it. It is striving for excellence.”

He continued, “I am a patriot and I truly believe that as filmmakers, we have the responsibility of representing our country in the right way. I really want me or one of my colleagues to stand in Oscar stage and win it for India. It will only happen if we compete with them and for that, we have to be excellent. We can’t be mediocre and that’s how we have to go with it.”

For the unversed, Son of guru Dronacharya and Kripi, Ashwatthama fought with the Kauravas against the Pandavas in Mahabharat’s Kurukshetra war. He was born to the couple as an answer to Drona’s prayers for a son as valiant as Lord Shiva. A Chiranjivi (immortal beings who according to Hindu mythology will last as long as Kalyug), Ashwatthama was born with a gem in his forehead which gave him power over all living beings lower than humans and protected him from hunger, thirst, and fatigue.

The film was supposed to be produced by Ronnie Screwvala. They had locked New Zealand, Namibia, Tokyo, and Greenland as the locations.
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