Binod Pradhan to direct Rs 800 mn project, Buddha

MUMBAI: Cinematographer Binod Pradhan, who has films like Mausam, Rang De Basanti and Devdas to his credit, will soon wield the megaphone for the Rs 800 million film Buddha, a project that could not fructify in several attempts earlier.

However, Pradhan is not deterred by the earlier setbacks. "I am aware that many eminent directors have failed to realise their dream of making a film on Buddha. But I have always nursed this dream of turning director with a film on Buddha.

"I am from Kalimpong and though I am Hindu, I grew up with Buddha and Buddhism all around me. Buddhism doesn’t belong to India, China or Tibet. It’s an integral part of civilization. I was attracted to the subject. When producer Sheetal Talwar came forward with the idea of a Buddha bio-pic, I jumped at it," he has been quoted in reports.

A bio-pic on the life of the Gautam Buddha was recently planned by Pinjar director Chandra Prakash Dwivedi with Amitabh Bachchan in the lead. The project was aborted and so was Ashutosh Gowariker’s attempt to make a film on the same subject.

Pradhan doesn’t want to cast a known face in the title role. "Casting a known face will make the character seem biographical. I want to cast an unknown face who also happens to be a brilliant actor," Pradhan averred.

Amish Tripathi, whose Shiva Trilogy and the Immortals Of Meluha are national bestsellers, has been roped in to write the screenplay for the film.

With the research and pre-production preparations for the film already underway, the film is likely to go into production after he finishes shooting of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Farhan Akhtar-starrer Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. 

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