2.0 director Shankar on plans for a sequel: We have an idea but I can't imagine 3.0 without Rajinikanth

Haricharan Pudipeddi

December 06, 2018 08:41:04 IST

It has been nearly a week since the release of superstar Rajinikanth-starrer 2.0, which has set the cash registers on fire and has already grossed nearly Rs 500 crore worldwide. Going by the numbers and the way the film has been received by audiences and critics, it is safe to say that the long wait to see this magnum opus in theatres has been worth it. The question that is plaguing audiences is whether the franchise will continue or not.

Rajinikanth and Shankar on the sets of 2.0. Image via Twitter/@behindwoods

Rajinikanth and Shankar on the sets of 2.0. Image via Twitter/@behindwoods

Filmmaker Shankar, buoyed by the success, is hopeful of continuing the franchise with 3.0, but he has made it clear that he cannot imagine another part without Rajinikanth, who has already made his political ambition very clear. “We have plans for 3.0 but it’s impossible to imagine the franchise without Rajini sir. I’m not ruling out the option but I can’t take forward the franchise just for the sake of it. The franchise is incomplete without the character of Chitti and I don’t think anyone else other than Rajini sir can play it. The way I see it, I’d love to see 2.0 and its characters pave way to our own superhero franchise, but we need the right script to back the vision.”

2.0 has been celebrated as India’s most expensive visual spectacle, and quite deservedly, as the film has lived up to the hype and expectations. Shot natively in 3D, Shankar revealed that the first visual he had in mind while developing the story of 2.0 is the image of a zillion mobile phones moving like a wave on the ground and in the sky. “This is the first image that crossed my mind. In recent years, mobiles phones have become an integral part of our lives. What if the same technology becomes our biggest enemy through an evil force? This is the idea on which the story was built, and everything else just fell in place.”

It took three years for Shankar to his see vision get made into a film. He said he did not mind investing so much time. “I’ve been asked if I feel I’m wasting so much time on a single project when I could've used that period to make three films. Honestly, I don’t see it that way because as I was working on the pre-production of 2.0, I managed to complete the script work of my next two projects. It’s only when I shoot a film, I get busy with a particular project, otherwise I’m always thinking about what I want to do next. Also, a project of this scale takes time and we can’t rush things. I’m also thankful to my producers, especially in the case of 2.0, for giving the project all the time it needed.”

2.0 is the first Indian film to be natively shot in 3D, and Shankar proudly endorses the achievement. He said the decision to shoot in 3D was taken to do full justice to the scale of the project. “When I visualised the story, I felt it needed to be told in 3D. It wasn’t easy to shoot in 3D but it had its own merits. For instance, in 2D, when you’re capturing multiple things in a frame, the visual gets smudged as you can’t differentiate the space between objects. Whereas, shooting in 3D helped us layer the space that audiences would get to see on screen. This way, we could even enhance a particular shot to enhance the overall 3D experience. At the same time, shooting in 3D came with its share of challenges. When you’re shooting in 3D, you can only use four lenses. Also, the 3D camera rig takes time to set up as it is quite heavy, and you can’t easily move from one place to another.”

2.0 also holds the distinction of being the most expensive Indian film ever made. Shankar admits a bomb was spent on the film. “If I’m correct, nearly Rs 450 crore is the cost of the production. The producers spent more on the promotions and I don’t know the exact amount. If not for Lyca Productions and Rajini sir, we couldn’t have made the film.”

Shankar was all praise for Rajinikanth’s commitment at the  trailer launch event. He continued to be in awe of the energy the 67-year-old star brings to the sets. “For his age, the energy and enthusiasm he brings to the sets is unbelievable. This one time when we were shooting in Chennai, he was severely cut on his leg and he wanted to shoot despite the injury. I didn’t know about it as I was getting ready for the shot, but when my manager told me about the incident, I literally had to force him to go to the hospital. His commitment amazes me.”

Having spent around three years on the making of 2.0, Shankar deserves a holiday, doesn’t he? But he is all set to commence work on his next project, which will be Indian 2 with Kamal Haasan. If everything goes as planned, the principal shooting will begin later this month. “We are all set to start Indian 2. Recently, we did a make-up shoot with Kamal sir in his Senapathy get up, and I was surprised he’s still able to carry that character he played over two decades ago with the same amount of energy. I can’t reveal anything more at the moment about the project but I’m very excited to start shooting.”

Updated Date: Dec 06, 2018 08:41 AM