The Past Blast: When Ajay Devgn almost played Lord Ram, Warrior Ashoka and King Prithivraj Chauhan

Ajay Devgn, Rajkumar Santoshi and three failed attempts of bringing an epic to spectacle. Why did they never take off?
The Past Blast: When Ajay Devgn almost played Lord Ram, Warrior Ashoka and King Prithivraj Chauhan
  • 0
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Share on whatsapp

In 2019, Yash Raj Films announced their magnum opus, Prithviraj Chauhan with Akshay Kumar in the titular role of the Hindu King. The Chandraprakash Dwivedi went on floors by the end of 2019, and till date, is touted to be the biggest film of Khiladi’s career, gearing up for a Diwali 2021 opening. Much before the film, multiple other actors have tried to spin a story around the heroism of Prithviraj Chauhan, but none of them eventually saw the light of day.

In 2005, Rajkumar Santoshi announced the war epic, with Ajay Devgn in the titular role of the warrior and Aishwarya Rai as Samyukta. The movie was all set to go on the floors in August 2005 for a start-to-finish schedule in Jaipur and Jodhpur, however, just days before going on floors, it was shelved. The film was titled Prithviraj Samyukta and the core premise focused on the romance between the two historic personalities. This is one among the many Ajay Devgn – Rajkumar Santoshi collaboration, that never took off.            

Soon after this in 2007, Santoshi decided to move his pet project, Ramayana, with Ajay Devgn in the role of Lord Ram with Riteish Deshmukh stepping in to play his younger brother, Lakshman. South Indian actor, Prakash Raj, who went ahead to play Jaykanth Shikre in Singham, came on board as Raavan. Kajol on the other hand, was confirmed to play Sita. It was planned as a massive Pan-Indian film, with Bollywood actors on board to play lord Ram and his troops, and South Indians on board to play Raavan and his team. However, budget constraints coupled with constant delay in filming resulted in Ramayana getting shelved.

But well ,these were not the only two epics that the director – actor duo were looking to bring to the spectacle. In the same span of 2005 and 2008, Rajkumar Santoshi announced his plays of making a biopic on two generations of Emperor Ashoka, and it was titled Ashoka: The Great. The actor was expected to be seen in a triple role, playing the Young Ashoka, the 60 plus Ashoka and the son of Ashoka. Bipasha Basu had come on board as the female lead. The makers had got AR Rahman to design the background score and Santoshi had promised that his take on the warrior will be different from what Santosh Sivan did with the Shah Rukh Khan film. In-fact, he assured the media that the story of his film would begin with the battle of Kalinga, which was where the SRK film ended. Again, after multiple false starts, Ashoka was put on hold.

In 2014, there were talks of reviving Ashoka as an Indo-French film, with Ajay Devgn as the warrior and the makers were keen to get an international name on board to play the role of Indian queen. This project too was officially announced and soon put on hold. Eventually, Ajay Devgn finally lived the era gone by in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, in 2020, but imagine Ajay in the above mentioned characters. Stay tuned for more such trivia’s on Pinvkilla.

Also Read| The Past Blast: When David Dhawan wanted Shah Rukh Khan to romance seven actresses in a comedy