• Wednesday, July 24, 2024


Kalki 2898 AD: All we know about the futuristic fantasy film

An in-depth look at the forthcoming sci-fi thriller from India

Prabhas in Kalki 2898 AD

By: Asjad Nazir

HOTLY anticipated film Kalki 2898 AD mixes up Hindu mythology with a futuristic dystopian setting. The star-studded science fiction epic is promising to be a path-breaking adventure filled with action, eye-catching special effects and a new kind of storytelling.

Eastern Eye decided to get everyone ready ahead of its global release on June 27 in multiple languages with an A to Z of the mega-budget blockbuster.

A is for Announcement: The movie was first officially announced in February 2020 with director Nag Ashwin and lead star Prabhas as the two main principles attached. It is intended to mark the 50th anniversary of successful studio Vyjayanthi Movies, which has been making mostly Telugu language films since it was launched in 1974.

 B is for Budget: With an eye-watering cost of nearly £60 million Kalki 2898 AD is one of the biggest budget Indian films ever made.

Lead Kalki 2898 AD
A still from the film

C is for Cast: The cast of the epic science fiction action film includes Indian movie superstars Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Kamal Haasan and Amitabh Bachchan. Disha Patani also plays a key role.

D is for Delays: The planned 2020 shooting of the movie was initially delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The release date was postponed multiple times because of post-production work and the 2024 Indian general election.

E is for Engineers: While a lot of special effects have been used, the director wanted to build futuristic vehicles for the film to add authenticity, so reportedly hired a team of engineers to design them. Futuristic sets were also erected in the studio.

F is for First: The movie marks Bollywood star Deepika Padukone’s debut in Telugu cinema. The director has promised that her unique character would take audiences by surprise.

This would also be Amitabh Bachchan’s first full length role in Telugu cinema, following his cameos in Manam (2014) and Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy (2019). It also marks Malayalam star Anna Ben’s debut in Telugu and Hindi cinema.

G is for Good versus evil: The film’s story revolves around a hero in a dystopian world offering a ray of hope when dark forces take over the world and treat people brutally. Kamal Haasan confirmed that he would be playing an antagonist.

H is for Helm: The film’s director and co-writer is Nag Ashwin. His previous three releases as a writer/ director have been acclaimed Telugu films Yevade Subramanyam (2015), Mahanati (2018) and Pitta Kathalu (2021). He also produced Telugu blockbuster comedy Jathi Ratnalu (2021).

I is for Italy: A romantic song from the film featuring lead stars Prabhas and Disha Patani was filmed in Italy earlier this year.

J is for Join: In what is perhaps a first, the official social media handles for Kalki 2898 AD invited anyone, including passionate individuals and content creators to join in the marketing effort of the movie, and left a contact email for people to get in touch.

K is for Kalki: The title Kalki is named after the prophesied 10th and final incarnation of the god Vishnu. He is described as the avatar who rejuvenates existence by ending the darkest and destructive period. Prabhas plays Bhairava, who is an alter ego of Kalki.

Lead Deepika Padukone in Kalki 2898 AD
A still from the film

L is Languages: There will be Telugu and Hindi versions of the movie. The pan-India release will be dubbed in multiple languages that includes Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. Producers are also planning to make an English version available.

M is for Mythology: The futuristic action drama may be set in a post-apocalyptic world, but the story and characters are inspired by Hindu mythology.

N is for No: AR Rahman was reportedly approached to deliver music for the movie, but didn’t sign for it. Mickey J Meyer was also apparently considered. But finally, Santhosh Narayanan was given the job of delivering the film’s music.

O is for Opening: The presence of pan-Indian superstar Prabhas will ensure Kalki 2898 AD gets the highest opening weekend for an Indian film released in 2024, so far. It will do more business in the opening few days than the lifetime collection of most Indian movies released this year.

P is for Producer: The film’s producer C Aswani Dutt has been successfully making Telugu films for 50 years and has previously worked with the biggest stars of the industry. His last film was hit romance Sita Ramam (2022). His foray into Bollywood was with successful 2002 gangster drama Company.

Q is for Quick: There have been multiple rumours that high profile A-list stars like Mahesh Babu, Suriya, and Dulquer Salmaan would make quick cameo appearances in the mythological sci-fi film.

R is for Return: Kalki 2898 AD marks the return of Bollywood actress Disha Patani to Telugu cinema, where she had made her acting debut with Loafer (2015). Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan is doing his first Tollywood film since Cheekati Rajyam (2015) and described his role as a cameo.

S is for Studio: Most of the movie has been shot at specially built sets in the famous studio Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad. Some of the biggest blockbusters ever made in India, including the Baahubali movies have previously been made there.

T is for Test: With all the mega-budget cinema releases since his record-breaking blockbuster Baahubali movies underperforming, superstar actor Prabhas has a lot riding on Kalki 2898 AD. That pressure is amplified by the film’s huge budget and will be his biggest test.

Lead Prabhas in Kalki 2898 AD Ub
A still from the film

U is for Unveiling: Kalki 2898 AD became the first Indian movie to be presented at San Diego ComicCon in July, 2023. The producers unveiled the official title and a first glimpse of the highly anticipated film at the world famous annual event.

V is for VFX: The larger than life superhero film being set in the future means that a lot of visual effects have been used. A huge budget has been put into making it one of the most eye-catching films ever made and a potential gamechanger.

W is for Working title: The initial working title of the movie was Project K.

X is for X: There is an official social media handle of the movie on X (formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram: @Kalki2898AD.

Y is for Younger: A teaser introducing Amitabh Bachchan as his immortal character Ashwatthama went viral across social media because it included an AI version of him as a young man.

Z is for Zendaya: When the Kalki 2898 AD poster of Deepika Padukone dropped, social media users began making comparisons between her and the character played by Zendaya in the Dune movies. That has been one of the many viral trends associated with the hotly anticipated movie and why tickets for it will be heavily in demand.

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