Upendra’s next film hopes to create ripples in China

Upendra’s next film hopes to create ripples in China

Kannada filmmaker R Chandru has announced a mega project with Upendra in the lead. Touted as a “pan-India” movie, and it will be the first Kannada film to be released in seven Indian languages.

Both the director and the actor were in Bengaluru on Saturday to launch the movie title — Kabja.

“Kabja will be the biggest movie in the history of Sandalwood. It will be made in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali and Hindi languages,“ Chandru tells Metrolife.

There is also a plan to dub the film in Chinese.

“I recently met Telugu filmmaker S S Rajamouli’s father K V Vijayendra Prasad. He told me that Indian filmmakers can find a market in China. He has suggested a few ways I could foray into the entertainment market in the country,” he says.

Chandru is in touch with seven production houses from the seven Indian languages, and will also pull in actors from the respective industries. 

The director says “pan-India” movies are now the “trend”. Loosely based on true events, the film, like KGF before it, will focus on the lives of several rowdies, which the director says will be an “emotional story”.

And like KGF, which starts in the 1950s, Kabja too will have a retro look. “It is a story that happens in the early 1980s,” he says. 

Movie buffs on social media have already begun comparing the film to KGF and Upendra’s own 1995 film ‘Om’. Chandru brushes the similarities aside. “Let me clarify that Kabja will be totally different from these two movies. It has a fresh subject and appeals to all sections,” he says.

The director is quite confident about the legacy that ‘Kabja’ will leave.

“Like ‘Om’ and ‘Aa Dingalu’ (2007), Kabja will remain a classic in the Kannada film industry as a story of the underworld,” he says.

Chandru had been thinking about the project for the last three years. He even had the title registered well in advance.

“The story was happening in my mind. I would often discuss it with Upendra. In the meantime, we took up ‘I Love You’,” he says.

“My wavelength perfectly matches Upendra’s. I find it easy and comfortable to do movies with him. Hence, I prepared a story for him,” Chandru said in response to a question on why he was chosen for the film.

The shooting is likely to start this month and is expected to take over a year. It will be shot in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Chandru and Upendra had last teamed up before for the commercially successful ‘Brahma’ (2014) and ‘I Love You’ (2019).

‘I Love You’ has completed 100 days in theatres.

Message to fans

For World Fans Day on September 18, Upendra requests his fans not to get him cakes or gifts or bouquets. If you insist on gifting him something, he would like you to give him a sapling. 

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