By RAHUL RAUT
Singapore-based Indian author Krishna Udayasankar is in demand these days. Last month it was announced that her best-selling mythological trilogy ‘The Aryavarta Chronicles’, a modern-retelling of Mahabharata, will be adapted into a Hindi film starring Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor. And now, we have learnt that she has bagged yet another movie deal based on her book.
Indian movie production house Phantom Films, led by Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikas Bahl and Madhu Mantena, has acquired the screen rights to Udayasankar’s 2016 fantasy novel ‘Immortal’ which is a modern-day telling of the story of the legendary warrior, Ashwathama of the epic Mahabharata, who having been cursed to never die by Krishna, has been roaming the earth since 4000 years for a historical artefact that may hold the secret to his unending existence.
Phantom Films plans to develop this project as a trilogy on Ashwathama in a contemporary setting. Though ‘Immortal’ is a standalone book, the producers have asked the writer Udayasankar to develop the storylines for two movies, including a prequel. Tentatively titled ‘Immortal’, the film is being planned to be made in the vein of superhero stories such as those of Wolverine and Wonder Woman. It will be along the lines of a ‘quest genre’, a historical as well as an action-adventure that will take the flawed hero on a trail across the sub-continent, much like Indiana Jones.
Confirming the development, Madhu Mantena of Phantom Films, said: “Yes, the film is a trilogy on Ashwathama in a modern- context. It’s a very powerful story written beautifully by Krishna Udayasankar and a concept that has not been ‘experienced’ on the big screen, that too on such a huge scale. We are very excited to start this journey.”
About The Book:-
A blend of history, myth and fantasy, ‘Immortal’ reimagines Ashwatthama as a modern-day whisky-loving, gun-toting historian-for-hire, Professor Bharadvaj. About the book, Good Reads writes: “When Professor Bharadvaj is approached by the enigmatic Maya Jervois to search for a historical artefact unlike any other, he is reluctant to pursue it. The object in question, the Vajra, is rumoured to possess incredible alchemical powers, but the Professor does not believe it exists. After all, he has spent many lifetimes – and identities – searching for it, in a bid to unearth the secret to his unending life.
Yet, as the evidence of its existence becomes increasingly compelling, the Professor is plunged into an adrenaline-fuelled adventure that takes him from the labyrinthine passages beneath the Somnath temple to the legendary home of the Siddhas in the Nilgiris, and finally into the deserts of Pakistan to solve a confounding puzzle left behind by the ancients.”