NTR biopic may be helmed by Krish after director Teja opts out of Nandamuri Balakrishna-starrer

Haricharan Pudipeddi

May,23 2018 10:34:41 IST

The NTR biopic, which will feature actor Nandamuri Balakrishna in the titular role of his late father and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, was launched with much fanfare on 29 March. The highly anticipated event took place at Ramakrishna Studios in Hyderabad and it was presided over by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

The first look of the NTR biopic. Image via Twitter/@megopichand

The first look of the NTR biopic. Image via Twitter/@megopichand

In the introductory shot of the film, Balakrishna was seen in the avatar of Duryodhana from his father’s film Daana Veera Soora Karna. A lavish stage was set up with a large throne in the middle. Balakrishna was fully adorned with jewellery and wore a large gold crown on his head. Teja, best known for films such as Jayam, Nijam and Nene Raju Nene Mantri, said he was thrilled to be chosen to direct this prestigious project. However, he was not sure if we could do justice to the opportunity.

At the launch, he said, “Everybody knows I’m a huge fan of NTR. I consider myself extremely lucky to have landed this opportunity. I’ll try and give my best efforts. NTR’s story is so vast; it’d take six films to encompass everything. We’ve tried to encapsulate everything into one film and I hope we will do justice.”

The makers were recently in shock when Teja opted out of the project even before the film went on the floors. The industry grapevine is that he chose to exit over creative differences with Balakrishna who wanted the film to be made a certain way. Following Teja’s exit, rumours made the rounds that veteran filmmaker K Raghavendra Rao was approached with the offer which he declined. It is worth mentioning that Rao was one among the many popular personalities who attended the film’s launch, and he had said both Balakrishna and Teja are extremely blessed to be part of this project. “I wish to direct at least one shot in this film. I hope Balakrishna and Teja would give me this opportunity,” he said.

There were also reports that Balakrishna himself might direct the film; however, nobody could verify the authenticity of this rumour. Following weeks of deliberation over who could be chosen to direct the project, it is learnt that the baton has been passed to Krish Jagarlamudi, who had recently worked with Balakrishna in the highly successful period drama Gautamiputra Satakarni. Krish however, is yet to sign on the dotted line. While Krish was unavailable for comment, his brother-in-law Rajeev Reddy (who produces films with Krish) confirmed to Firstpost that talks have been initiated with the filmmaker. “Krish is in talks to direct the project. But he’s yet to take a call as he’s still occupied with Manikarnika.”

Apparently, Krish will rework the script and only then will take a call on whether to direct the project. According to a source from the film’s unit, Krish and Balakrishna will sit down to discuss changes that can be made in the script without tampering the core. “Krish is interested to direct but he’s now into Manikarnika neck-deep. The project might take time to take off as both Krish and Balakrishna want to sit and fine-tune the script. Also, Krish wants the film to be made in a single part instead of two parts, according to the original plan.”

To be jointly produced by Balakrishna, Vishnu Induri and Sai Korrapati, the film will have music by MM Keeravani. Famed lensman Santhosh Thundiyil will crank the camera while Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao will take care of editing.

Updated Date: May 23, 2018 10:34 AM