Akshay Kumar's upcoming film Ram Setu has been the talk of the town ever since the makers announced the movie on Diwali last year by unveiling the first look poster. The superstar who recently wrapped up Bachchan Pandey, is now gearing up to kickstart the shooting of this much anticipated film.
Director Abhishek Sharma and creative producer Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi will be flying to Ayodhya on March 18 to give the mahurat shot of the film from Ram Janmabhoomi. Akshay is currently vacationing with his family in Maldives, and will dive back to work upon his return.
Spilling the beans about Akshay Kumar's role in Ram Setu, the director revealed that Akshay will be essaying the role of an archaeologist in this movie.
"Akshay sir plays an archaeologist and his look and character is inspired by several Indian and international professional archaeologists who work in the field. In terms of both look and character, Akshay sir's fans are in for a totally new avatar of his," Sharma said, promising that the superstar will be seen in a never seen before avatar.
Meanwhile, recently, the makers had revealed that they have roped in Jacqueline Fernandez and Nushrratt Bharuccha as the leading ladies in this Akshay Kumar starrer.
Speaking about the same, Sharma said, "They both play strong, independent women with well-etched out parts. We are keeping their looks under wraps for now!"
He further revealed that it was Chandraprakash Dwivedi who came up with the idea of starting the Ram Setu journey in Ayodhya. "What better way to embark upon the journey of Ram Setu than to kick-off at the very birth place of Lord Ram," Dwivedi said in a statement.
Going on to explain the thought behind picking the location, he continued, "Having visited Ayodhya several times myself, I suggested to Akshay and the team that we should launch the production schedule with blessings from the holy temple of Lord Ram. We are scheduled to hold our mahurat shot in Ayodhya and commence our filming on an auspicious note."
Abhishek Sharma revealed that the journey of Ram Setu started back in 2007 when he first read newspaper coverage about a court case related to a project to build a shipping canal in the shallow straits between India and Sri Lanka and the issues that the project was facing.
Elaborating on how the idea for Ram Setu germinated from this article, the filmmaker said, "I found this to be an opportunity to explore the truth behind an Indian legend and was amazed at the magnitude of the subject. It's like I was being presented with the possibility to bring forward a true story that would connect generations of Indians to a part of our heritage that was not getting the attention it deserved."
He revealed that he locked the screenplay during the lockdown last year and pitched the first draft of the screenplay to Akshay who immediately agreed to do this film.
Sharma expressed gratitude towards Dwivedi for guiding the team in the right direction and said, "He has helped us immensely by providing access and perspective to history and religion as well as building a team of researchers with backgrounds in archaeology, history, religion and science, in equal measure," Sharma says, noting that the idea behind "the research process was to gain a comprehensive understanding on the subject and to create a film on this true story that is based on and supported by facts."
Now with everything planned, the makers are busy ensuring all the safety protocols are in place for a smooth shooting experience.
Producer Vikram Malhotra said in a statement, "For Ram Setu, there will be strict protocols in place, including travel and stay bio-bubbles, frequent health checks and a professional agency on-board to manage these protocols all through. Given the complexity of the story and ensuing locations, VFX etc, the production will be spread across multiple schedules over the next few months."
He further added, "Akshay as well as Abundantia Entertainment have been fortunate to have successfully completed filming, post-production and even release of several of our productions through the pandemic period. So there is enough learning and experience to manage production with mitigated and controlled Covid-19 related risks"
According to Malhotra, Ram Setu is a story formed on facts, science and historical heritage and is anchored in the deep belief of Indians since centuries. "Today, as the younger generation grows curious about its heritage, there has never been a better time to tell stories anchored deep in the cultural fabric of our country," he added in his statement.
On the other hand, Akshay Kumar called Ram Setu "a bridge between generations past, present and future."
The shoot of Ram Setu will be spread across multiple schedules over the next few months and 80% of the film will be shot in Mumbai.
Stay tuned for all the latest updates on this film.