Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Rs 170 crore magnum opus ‘Padmavati’ gets Viacom18 backing

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Rs 170 crore magnum opus 'Padmavati' gets Viacom18 backing
Padmavati’s leading cast – Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh

Rumours about Sanjay Leela Bhansali unable to find a studio to back his next magnum opus ‘Padmavati’ were put to rest today, as the filmmaker announced his association with Viacom18 Motion Pictures.

The film starring Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor, directed by Bhansali, will soon go on floors and is set for a 2017 release, a media release issued here said.

“I am very happy to work with Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Ajit Andhare. We’ve had a successful partnership so far and I look forward to collaborating with them on ‘Padmavati’,” Bhansali said.

‘Padmavati’ is Viacom18 Motion Pictures’ third collaboration with Bhansali Productions after the back to back success of ‘Mary Kom’ and ‘Gabbar is Back’.

Earlier, the filmmaker was in talks with Eros International, but the deal could not be finalized due to the massive budget.

A source close to Bhansali to The Quint, “Earlier there was some talk of Eros International jumping on to the production. But it was only talk and never reached any contractual stage, as Eros is at the moment going through too many financial issues to shoulder a project so mammoth in scope and resources. But Sanjay Bhansali stuck on with negotiations with Eros although they were not leading anywhere because of his close relations with Eros and Sunil Lulla.”

“There was even a suggestion of another production housing hopping on board with Eros to shoulder the massive financial requirements of Padmavati. But it all fell through as Eros was unable to shoulder even a part of the budget.” he added.

With a proposed budget of Rs 170 crore, Padmavati won’t just be the most expensive film produced by Viacom18, but also the most expensive Hindi film ever.

“We believe in redefining Indian cinema with differentiated content. An epic story brought to life by Sanjay’s genius for grandeur, drama and above all storytelling, ‘Padmavati’ has the makings of a blockbuster,” Ajit Andhare, COO, Viacom18 Motion Pictures said.

Earlier, Viacom 18 movies’ CEO Sudhanshu Vats wrote on Twitter, “With @deepikapadukone, @RanveerOfficial & @shahidkapoor in the lead, we are surely excited about @RealPadmavati”

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