Superstar Akshay Kumar’s hugely awaited next, Yash Raj Films’ Prithviraj, is being directed by noted filmmaker and historian Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi. The director admits that he lived with this story for 18 years before deciding to make it into a big screen entertainer with Aditya Chopra.
He adds, “I read many books on his life to ensure that we are doing justice to Prithviraj Chauhan in our film. Today, I’m deeply satisfied as a writer and filmmaker that I took this time before I could realize my dream. There is no Samrat like Prithviraj in our history and I hope our film is a fitting tribute to his valor and magnanimous way of life.”
Chandraprakash reveals, “Prithviraj is my dream project. It’s a script that I have nurtured for a long, long time because of the extensive research work that was needed before I even attempted to make a film on this mighty and legendary king. To be precise, Prithviraj’s final research took about six months for me to be fully satisfied that every single fact was checked multiple times.”
Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi is an Indian film director and scriptwriter, who is best known for directing the 1991 television epic Chanakya in which he also played the title role of the political strategist Chanakya and was an inspiration for millions. His other major work is the 2003 film Pinjar, a tragic love story set amidst the Hindu-Muslim tensions during the Partition of India, based on Amrita Pritam’s novel of the same name.
He has also directed the 1996 television series Mrityunjay which is based on the life of Karna, a major character from the epic Mahabharata, and he won a Screen Videocon Best Director award for the same.
Dr. Dwivedi is a qualified medical professional who gave up his profession because of a deep interest in Indian literature, and began working in theatre instead. From 1990-92, he wrote, directed, and acted in the TV serial Chanakya, which took India by storm with its crafted dialog, mastery of Hindi and lessons on politics and philosophy.
In the late 1990s, he held the position of programming division head at Zee TV. During his stint at Zee, he tried his hand at retelling the Mahabharata (Ek Aur Mahabharat) but had to abort the experiment after 14 episodes due to a poor response from advertisers and viewers. The rerun of Chanakya too failed to attract advertisers. Dwivedi wrote the dialogues for the 2001 epic Doordarshan television series on Chhatrapati Shivaji.
In February 2008, Bobby Bedi announced that he had been planning a new Mahabharata with Dwivedi as director. However, in April, Dwivedi disassociated himself from the project citing pressure brought on as a result of competition from Ekta Kapoor’s Kahaani Hamaaray Mahaabhaarat Ki.
In 2008, Dr. Dwivedi directed a television serial based on the Upanishads titled Upanishad Ganga. He is presently working on The Legend of Kunal, a film based on the life of Kunal, the son of Emperor Asoka. In 2009, the South Asian Cinema Foundation honored Dwivedi with its Cultural Catalyst Award “in recognition of his commitment to exploring India’s ancient culture and history in television and popular cinema.”
In January 2011, his film Mohalla Assi set around Assi Ghat of Varanasi and based on Dr. Kashi Nath Singh’s famous novel, went into production with shooting starting in Film City, Mumbai, with Sunny Deol as the lead actor.
His next film was Zed Plus. This film was a political satire and comedy, starring Adil Hussain (best known for Life of Pi and English Vinglish) and Mona Singh (of Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi fame). KK Raina, Sanjay Mishra, and Kulbhushan Kharbanda are playing other important roles in this film.
He will be directing a movie on Prithviraj Chauhan produced by Yash Raj Films, starring Akshay Kumar in a lead role.