Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan — these are the four names that have, over the last six months, been rumoured to be cast in the screen adaptation of Amish Tripathi’s best-selling novel, The Immortals Of Meluha (TIOM). Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy is already being touted as India’s Lord Of The Rings. While the curiosity over who will play Shiva and Parvati is understandable, filmmaker Karan Johar clarifies that he hasn’t approached any of them yet.
The filmmaker says, “I could have signed any of these guys or even someone fresh. The problem is that I don’t have a script and a screenplay in place. I don’t have a director on board either. We made the announcement in January this year that we have acquired the rights to turn Amish’s book into a film. But given the scale of the project, I’m still figuring who to entrust with the responsibility to turn the book into a tight and interesting script.”
Karan had earlier declared that he will be collaborating with a top film-production company from the west. The budget is expected to be in the mammoth range of Rs 200-Rs 300 crore, since it is expected to be high on special-effects.
International animators, set designers and technicians are also expected to come on board for the project. “It’s too early to talk about any name, not even hypothetically. I haven’t signed on Hrithik or Ranbir or anyone else. Turning a book like TIOM into a script is going to be a time-consuming process,” says Karan. “It could take us a year or more. But only after the script and screenplay are written will we think of who to appoint to direct and who to cast.”
The first book of the trilogy, TIOM, is the story of a Tibetan immigrant, Shiva, who is invited to the kingdom of Meluha where he discovers his destiny. The love story between Shiva and Parvati is a crucial element in the novel. Considering that it deals with religion and mythology, Karan, currently occupied with a TV reality show and his movie Student Of The Year, will make sure the subject is treated with sensitivity.