The ‘RRR’ director revealed many juicy stories during a chat with the Russo Brothers
In an exclusive interview hosted by an Indian film critic Rajeev Masand, Hollywood directors, the Russo brothers (Joe Russo and Anthony Russo), and ace Indian director SS Rajamouli spoke about various topics related to cinema at length. One of the most interesting revelations from the chat was that Rajamouli considered making and directing the epic literary tale ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ in a web series format. Kalki Krishnamurthy's renowned Tamil novel, 'Ponniyin Selvan' revolves around the chronicles of the Chola Dynasty.
Talking about the trend of direct digital releases, the host Rajeev Masand asked the ‘RRR’ director if he had any plans for an OTT release. Rajamouli revealed that long before RRR's success on Netflix, he had plans for an exclusive OTT release and he had narrowed down on the possibility of making ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ for this agenda.
Addressing the fact that Mani Ratnam has already assembled the story as the film PS-1, Rajamouli added, “For a long time, I had that (Ponniyin Selvan) in mind to make it for streaming because it was the perfect way of telling that particular story.” The ‘Baahubali’ director confessed that it isn’t easy to encapsulate such a story in a film and deemed it to be web series material.
For the unversed, the adaptation of the book ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ has been turned into a two-part film series by Mani Ratnam, with part one titled 'PS -1' which will release on September 30, 2022.
Rajamouli's Sources of Inspiration
When asked about his sources of inspiration, Rajamouli revealed that Indian movies such as 'Mayabazar' and 'Missamma' inspired him a lot, along with the international hits 'Ben-Hur’ and ‘BraveHeart’. Rajamouli revealed that Mel Gibson, the director of ‘BraveHeart’, is his favourite director.
His Love for 'Action' Genre
Addressing the trend of global audiences resonating with action films, Joe Russo said that action is an universal language. Rajamouli shares his love for the action genre with the Russo brothers as he confessed that he has always been a fan of action movies. “From as young as I can remember, I loved action. Whether it’s comic books, cartoons, western films or novels, action films really caught up with me. I really love action films. If given a choice between a love story and an action movie, I would choose the action film,” claimed Rajamouli.
Women-centric Action Films?
While discussing the action genre, the topic of masculinity in action movies and the lack of women-oriented action films popped up. In response, Rajamouli said, “I would really love to do (female lead action films). Not just in terms of action, but really a strong female lead, leading the whole story. There are a couple of storylines that are running in my mind. We are discussing that. I don’t think (about) too many films at a time. At the end of a film, I look at the exciting ideas that are around me, and I pick up the most exciting one at that point in time and go forward. If it’s a hero film, it’s a hero film. If it’s a heroine film, it’s a heroine film.”
Fears & Regrets
Further, the Eega director disclosed that he's afraid of the rise of digital distribution. While agreeing that theatrical release, digital distribution, and the television platform can co-exist, Rajamouli confessed that he's afraid of digital distribution killing theatrical cinema. At the end of the interview, Rajamouli was asked to name a film that he yearned to direct after watching, to which, Rajamouli answered ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. While admitting that he regretted not blocking the story for himself, he also revealed that he always wanted to make a movie based on the video game ‘Prince of Persia’.
At the end of the interview, Joe Russo revealed that he’s a big fan of Rajamouli, as he fondly called him ‘Raja’ and Rajamouli reciprocated the appreciation by initiating a meetup.
Updated date: Monday, 01 Aug 2022 - 6:32 PM