In January 2021, amidst much fanfare, actor Vicky Kaushal took to social media to announce the collaboration between him and director Aditya Dhar for their second film together, titled 'The Immortal Ashwatthama'. This announcement, coinciding with the second anniversary of their acclaimed film 'URI: The Surgical Strike', sent waves of excitement through the audience, promising a unique blend of superhero elements with Indian mythology. However, since the initial announcement, updates on the project have been scarce, leaving fans eagerly awaiting news.
Recently on Feb 8, during the trailer launch event of Aditya Dhar's latest production film, 'Article 370', the director provided insights into the status of 'The Immortal Ashwatthama'. Responding to queries about the much-anticipated superhero action film, Dhar honestly revealed that the project has been put on the back burner for the time being.
When asked about the numerous rumours then what is the current update, Aditya Dhar began by saying,
“We have put that film on the back burner right now, I’ll be very honest with you…”
Overwhelmed and ecstatic !— Vicky Kaushal (@vickykaushal09) January 11, 2021
On the 2nd anniversary of 'URI-The Surgical Strike' , the team gives you a glimpse into the world of #TheImmortalAshwatthama
Cannot wait to get onto this journey with the dream team of @AdityaDharFilms @RonnieScrewvala @RSVPMovies @soniakanwar22 pic.twitter.com/tYOVQ4FG1P
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Dhar attributed this decision to the grand vision they had for the film, which posed significant challenges in terms of its scale and visual effects. He explained, "The vision we had for the film was too grand for the current state of Indian cinema. The level of VFX quality we envisioned has not been achieved by anyone yet. We need to wait until technology becomes more affordable or until there are more screens in theatres to accommodate larger audiences. I have to consider these factors."
Drawing parallels with renowned filmmaker James Cameron's approach to the 'Avatar' series, Dhar emphasized the importance of waiting, “For example, James Cameron conceived 'Avatar' 27 years before its release, but he waited for the market to mature and technology to advance to the necessary level for its presentation. Even if I were a mere nail in one of his films, it would be a great honour. However, the key point is that we must ensure the intent and strive for excellence, leaving no room for mediocrity,” he added.
Dhar emphasized the importance of waiting for the right moment to bring their vision to life. He stressed the need for excellence in filmmaking, highlighting the long-lasting impact that movies have and the responsibility of filmmakers to represent their country in the best possible light.
The filmmaker’s commitment to achieving excellence in filmmaking was evident as he expressed and concluded saying, “I really want to see myself or one of my colleagues stand on the Oscar stage and win it for India. This will only happen if we compete with them, and to compete with them, we must strive for excellence, not mediocrity."
Amidst the initial announcements of 'The Immortal Ashwatthama', various rumours surfaced regarding the project, including speculation about changes in casting. Reports suggested that Vicky Kaushal might have been replaced by actors like Ranveer Singh or that South Indian superstars like Allu Arjun or Jr NTR were being considered for the lead role. However, currently, no official decisions are been made regarding anything related to the project.
With 'The Immortal Ashwatthama' currently on hold, fans are left eagerly anticipating any updates on the project's future. While the delay may come as a disappointment to some, Dhar's commitment to delivering a film of unparalleled quality serves as a testament to his dedication to the craft of filmmaking.
As the industry awaits further developments, it remains to be seen when 'The Immortal Ashwatthama' will resume production and bring to life the epic tale that has captured the imagination of audiences since its initial announcement. Until then, fans can only hope for the best as they eagerly anticipate the next chapter in this cinematic journey.