EXCLUSIVE: Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan's Ashwatthama put on hold after the budget crossed Rs 300 crore
On Sunday, producer Ronnie Screwvala in a public statement revealed that he has decided to delay the ambitious sci-fi project, Ashwathama. “In the last draft of the script, the ambition of the movie and the budget did not match and the overall uncertainty fueled by COVID, did not help. So all of us – Aditya (Dhar), Vicky (Kaushal) and I – decided that we need to put this back for another six to nine months,” read his statement.
Hinting further at the budget constraints, he added, “Sara (Ali Khan, the leading lady), also agreed. We will have to work more on the budget and circle back when things look better overall for the magnum opus which Ashwathama is being planned as.” Pinkvilla has learnt that the ambition of Aditya Dhar to make it a global project had resulted in the budget of Ashwathama going way above the original plans. “Ashwathama was planned to be a sci-fi film with a superhero spin in the narrative. The makers had planned to bring the epic character of Ashwathama from Mahabharata in a futuristic world,” revealed a source close to the development.
The source further added, “The team started the pre-production work and also discussions with multiple visual effect studios from the west to transport the vision to spectacle. As time passed by, the makers realized that the budget puts too much pressure on the film to deliver at the box-office. The estimated budget, even before a single scene was shot, came in the range of Rs 300 crore. Hence, they all mutually decided to rework on the same and take the film on floors when the box office scenario looks better.”
The next few months will be spent on the script and meetings with visual effect teams to work on the budget front. Once the plan is in place, the team will move onto the stage of deciding on the shoot schedule with all the actors. Apart from Vicky and Sara, Suniel Shetty and Jaideep Ahlawat are also expected to be a part of this magnum opus.