I’m a big fan of ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ says Nag Ashwin, ‘Kalki 2898 AD’ director

The mythological and sci-fi action drama, is touted as India's most expensive film, with an estimated budget of ₹ 600 crore.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 07, 2024 | 9:55 PM Updated Jul 07, 2024 | 10:03 PM

A still of Nag Ashwin addressing the press; 'Kalki 2898 AD' poster. (X)

When the Kalki 2898 AD trailer was released, it quickly sparked comparisons to iconic Hollywood films like Dune, the Mad Max series, and even Star Wars. Viewers on the Internet pointed out resemblances between Deepika’s look in Kalki and Zendaya’s in Dune.

In an interview, Nag Ashwin discussed his views on these parallels with legendary Hollywood classics.

“I am a big fan of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. I appreciate any narrative that builds its universe with unique rules. As a reader, it provides catharsis and escapism into those worlds, which is incredibly beautiful. I never imagined I could create something like that, but Kalki came closest to that vision, which I could then translate into a film.”

During the conversation, Nag Ashwin acknowledged that Star Wars had a profound influence on him during his early years.

“I also found Dune to be inspiring. Being a big fan of Star Wars, there might have been some unintentional references that influenced my work,” he admitted.

Nag Ashwin talked about a memorable scene from Kalki 2898 AD with Deepika Padukone, which he holds dear. “The filming was hurried as Deepika had to depart earlier than scheduled. As she walked through the tunnel engulfed in fire, I sensed its potential for greatness.”

‘Deepika is incredibly smart’

Deepika Padukone in Kalki 2898 AD

Deepika Padukone in ‘Kalki 2898 AD’. (X)

He explained encouraging Deepika to take a leap of faith in that scene, inspired by the birth of Krishna and Vasudeva’s decisive actions.

Nag Ashwin praised Deepika Padukone, for her intuition and intelligence. “She’s incredibly smart. Give her a little, and she grasps the brief immediately. While there are many comparisons drawn, my sole inspiration was the birth of Krishna, where the river parted for him. This concept guided the scene, using different elements and intercutting it with various characters.”

‘Everything Amitabh Bachchan does serves as an inspiration’

Nag Ashwin, further, discussed Prabhas’s willingness to be hit by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, describing it as a significant gesture from a mainstream actor. Nag Ashwin noted that Prabhas is supportive of experimental ideas in filmmaking.

 In Kalki 2898 AD, there are several action sequences involving Prabhas’s character Bhairava, and Amitabh Bachchan’s Ashwatthama.

Nag Ashwin also expressed admiration for Amitabh Bachchan, adding that everything he does is inspiring, from simple acts like requesting food to ordering a sandwich.

Kalki 2898 AD has maintained a strong performance in both domestic and global box offices. By its tenth day, the dystopian film grossed approximately ₹34 crore domestically, accumulating a total of over ₹460 crore. Globally, it has surpassed ₹800 crore in collections within the same timeframe since its release on 27 June in six languages; Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, and English.

(Edited by S Subhakeerthana)

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