The Immortals of Meluha: Karan Johar's film adaptation rights expire; Sanjay Leela Bhansali takes over?
Popular Indian novelist Amish Tripathi's book The Immortals of Meluha from his Shiva Trilogy was liked by readers (age no bar) for its different take on Indian mythology and portrayal of Hindu god Shiva. While fundamentalists in India find a reason to spark controversy against anything under the sun, this trilogy, surprisingly was taken in; thus wide-spreading the reach of the book as well as the author.
Reports were abuzz saying that Bollywood director Karan Johar has obtained the rights for an adaption of the popular book, as one of Firstpost's early 2014 report suggests.
Now, if speculations are to be believed, the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil director's contract with Tripathi expired recently, so Dharma Productions had no choice but to surrender the rights. According to a report by Bollywood Life, Dharma’s film Shuddhi, was reportedly supposed to be an adaptation of The Immortals of Meluha. Since Johar's production house couldn't make the project in time, they had to surrender the rights.
Now, it is being reported that director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has shown interest in the project and he plans to convert the book into a feature film. According to a Mid-day report, Bhansali has bought the rights to do the film.
The Immortals of Meluha is based on the life of a Tibetan immigrant tribal named Shiva who comes to the mystical land of Meluha. The Meluhans, (descendants of the Suryavanshi empire set by Lord Ram) who are in a state of peril because of an impending battle with their boundary neighbours - Chandravanshis and Nagas, believe that Shiva is Neelkanth - their saviour as per an old myth. Shiva leads the Meluhans in their battle with Chandravanshis and Nagas. This is the book, which in crust, depicts the journey of Shiva becoming the Neelkanth- The Lord from a nobody.
It will be however, interesting to see how the Bollywood mis en scene maestro Bhansali adopts this book into a film. His earlier films - Bajirao Mastani (2015), Saawariya (2007), Ram Leela (2013) and Devdas (2002) have always been about big, beautiful sets which take the grandeur of the films some notches higher.
Amish's other books in the Shiva trilogy include The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras.