Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad
There is much curiosity about the Indian film on Jesus Christ to be directed by Singeetham Srinivasa Rao.
Produced by Konda Krishnam Raju of Aditya Productions, the movie is said to cost $30 million; the costliest Indian film ever made.
It will be made in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Shooting for the film will begin in Jerusalem in October and will be released in 2011. The film tells the story of Jesus Christ from his birth, his death and resurrection.
Telugu actor Pawan Kalyan (brother of the Telugu mega star Chiranjeevi) was in Israel along with the director and the producer to announce the film to the world on August 31.
Singeetham is said to have collaborated with J K Bharavi (he has scripted period films on saints like Annamayya, Ramadasu and a devotee of Lord Krishna Pundareeka made into the film Pandurangadu) on the script for quite some time.
The story of Jesus Christ gets Indian treatment
Pawan will be acting with different heroines in different languages. One would perhaps know the exact nature of his role shortly.
For the time being, it is evident that Pawan is happy to be a part of this project. He said as much at the launch. "I've been a big fan of Jesus Christ since my childhood. Recently, my five-year-old son fell down and hurt himself. As a father, I felt hurt and that time I recalled Mother Mary. How much she would have suffered having seen her son Jesus on the cross? I recorded the moment in my diary. As we are living in a violence-filled society, we also need peace and we have to welcome films in this direction.
"Four months after the incident, the director came to me and asked if I wanted to do a role in this Christian-oriented film with universal appeal. There are several religions in our land, and I am ready to do any role for the sake of spreading the message of love."
Pawan Kalyan is one of the stars who has a huge fan base (even on the social networking sites too) and is almost looked upon as 'demi-god' though he has had a roller-coaster ride in films.
A youth and style icon, "Power Star" Pawan Kalyan has done about a film a year on an average (about 15 films in 16 years so far though his next two projects will release next year) and has perhaps made his fans wait for the longest time since his last release Jalsa in 2008. His Komaram Puli slated to release shortly is supposed to be a story of a cop.
He has seen the highs and lows in his decade and a half long career. If he had hits like Thammudu, Badri, Khushi, he's also seen the pits with Johnny. But he also resurfaced triumphantly with Annavaram and Jalsa.
Another facet of Pawan is that he has worked for the youth wing of Praja Rajyam Party founded by his brother megastar Chiranjeevi in the last elections.
He has also choreographed his own songs, directed a film Johnny which unfortunately flopped at the box office despite being made on a whopping budget. He displays a kaleidoscope of emotions on and off screen, yet he remains a mystery to many.
Even before the release of Komaram Puli, Pawan Kalyan has signed two more films this year -- Khushigaa (a remake of the Hindi film Love Aaj Kal to be directed in Telugu by Jayanth Paranji) and the Singeetham film on Jesus Christ.