EXCLUSIVE: Netflix shelves Bahubali: Before The Beginning; Rs 150 crore investment written off by the giant
Bahubali: Before The Beginning was a prequel to SS Rajamouli's Bahubali Franchise, showcasing the rise of Shivagami. Details
After the success of Bahubali: The Beginning and Bahubali: The Conclusion, Netflix along with SS Rajamouli announced a prequel to the franchise, Bahubali: Before The Beginning. The series was to showcase the rise of Bahubali’s mother, Shivagami, and the makers had cast Mrunal Thakur to play the lead with Deva Katta as the director. Later on, Rahul Bose and Atul Kulkarni came on board to play two more pivotal characters.
They shot the series over a period of 6 months on massive sets constructed in Hyderabad with an estimated budget of Rs 100 crore plus. Some more money was invested in the post production process too, however, after a prolonged work on the edit for a year, the makers finally decided to shelve Deva Katta’s version and revamp it with a fresh cast. “The entire amount invested in Bahubali: Before The Beginning was put in the cans as the team decided to revamp the series with a new director. Kunal Deshmukh and Ribhu Dasgupta had replaced Deva Katta and the prep work also began in the month of July 2021,” revealed a source.
However, it all hit a standstill again towards the end of 2021. “The work done on ground in terms of pre-production couldn’t exactly be in sync with the vision that Netflix had for this period drama. After a series of discussions and contemplations, they decided to shelve the project at this point of time. Some extra money which was invested in the prep work too has been considered bad-debts for now. The approx. figure invested in Bahubali: Before The Beginning was Rs 150 crore,” a source added. The team apparently felt that it’s better to stop the project even before the shoot, instead of investing another Rs 200 crore on a product that’s substandard.
“Bahubali is a cult in today’s time and they didn’t want to take the risk of meddling with something that has an iconic status. They may revisit it again, but this time around, only when the material on paper is strong enough to justify the legacy,” the source informed. The reworked version was supervised by Bombay Fables, who were involved in the creative front. Earlier it was Swastik Productions. Mrunal Thakur too had walked off the series with Wamiqa Gabbi signing on to play Shivagami. Buzz is, Nayanthara was also approached for a key role, but one doesn’t have a confirmation on the same. Bahubali franchise was fronted by Prabhas with Rana Daggubati as the antagonist.
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