Kalki 2898 AD (stylized as KALKI 2898-A.D) is an eagerly anticipated Indian science fiction dystopian film written and directed by Nag Ashwin. Produced by C. Aswani Dutt of Vyjayanthi Movies, this cinematic spectacle boasts an ensemble cast featuring Prabhas, Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, Deepika Padukone, and Disha Patani.
Initially announced under the working title Project K in February 2020 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Vyjayanthi Movies, the film encountered a one-year delay due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Filming commenced in July 2021 at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad, set against a futuristic backdrop, and it unfolds in both Telugu and Hindi.
Budget and Crew:
Kalki 2898 AD is breaking records with a staggering budget of ₹600 crores (US$75 million), securing its position as the most expensive Indian film ever made. The film’s music is composed by Santhosh Narayanan, cinematography by Djordje Stojiljkovic, and production design by Nitin Zihani Choudhary. Its grand release is scheduled for 2024.
Cast of Legends: The film showcases a powerhouse cast including:
- Amitabh Bachchan
- Kamal Haasan
- Deepika Padukone
- Disha Patani
- Saswata Chatterjee
Development and Casting:
Director Nag Ashwin, following the success of Mahanati in 2018, began developing the original story for Kalki 2898 AD in August 2019. Vyjayanthi Movies officially announced the film in February 2020, starring the charismatic Prabhas. Deepika Padukone joined the cast in July 2020, marking her Telugu cinema debut. Later, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and the versatile Disha Patani were added to the ensemble. In June 2023, the iconic Kamal Haasan joined the stellar lineup, making his return to Telugu and Hindi cinema.
Recognized initially as “Project K,” the film required cutting-edge technology and futuristic vehicles. Director Ashwin opted for authenticity, tasking a dedicated team to construct these vehicles from scratch. Anand Mahindra’s Mahindra & Mahindra extended technical support for this groundbreaking endeavor. The film’s futuristic set at Ramoji Film City promises an immersive experience.
Music and Cinematography:
Initially considering A. R. Rahman, the film eventually embraced Santhosh Narayanan as the composer. Djordje Stojiljkovic replaced Dani Sanchez-Lopez as the cinematographer. Singeetam Srinivasa Rao joined as a mentor, adding his creative touch to the project.
Commencing in July 2021, the shoot adopted a unique schedule, spreading across months to allow meticulous preparation for each segment. Utilizing the DIY Arri Alexa 65 camera, a first for Indian cinema, added a touch of innovation. Despite Prabhas’ brief delay due to a knee surgery, the team persisted, capturing 70% of the film by June 2023.
Unveiling the Future:
Kalki 2898 AD announced its presence with a first look on 19 July 2023, creating a buzz. The film’s title was officially revealed at the 2023 San Diego Comic-Con, accompanied by a teaser trailer. The unveiling event featured Nag Ashwin, Prabhas, Kamal Haasan, and C. Aswani Dutt.
Release on the Horizon:
Scheduled for release on 12 January 2024, Kalki 2898 AD invites audiences into a futuristic world where cinematic brilliance meets technological innovation. Initially slated for 2022, the film overcame pandemic challenges and production intricacies to promise an unparalleled cinematic experience across Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and English languages.
Indian science fiction film
Most expensive Indian film
Nitin Zihani Choudhary
Filming at Ramoji Film City
Telugu and Hindi languages
Singeetam Srinivasa Rao
A. R. Rahman
Unique shooting schedule
DIY Arri Alexa 65 camera
San Diego Comic-Con