On August 8, director Prasanth Varma who shot to fame with his psychological thriller Awe! announced the title of his third film by releasing a motion picture. Titled Zombie Reddy, the film is touted to be the first zombie film in Telugu.
While the response to the title has been mostly great, some have taken offense owing to the mention of the word Reddy. They have lashed out against the directors and the film for allegedly demeaning their caste.
Prasanth varma me Cinima హిట్స్ kosam Reddy ani pettukoni ma Reddy caste ni takkua chesi janalaki ఎంటర్టైన్మెంట్ ivakandi.#BanJambieMovie
— Mani deepthi Reddy (@ManideepthiR) August 9, 2020
మొన్న సివిల్స్ లో వచ్చిన ఫలితాలు చూశావారా, సీమ బిడ్డలు ఎలా చదువుకుని ర్యాంకులు కొట్టారో అందులో రెడ్ల పిల్లలు ఎంతమందో చూశావా పిచ్చినా సన్… ఎప్పుడూ రెడ్లపైనా సీమపైనా ఏడ్చి ఛస్తారెందుకురా మీ సినిమా వాళ్లు మా విసర్జితం అంత రుచిగా ఉంటాదారా మీకు..
— Kishor Reddy Chatrala (@CKishorReddy) August 8, 2020
Better to rename it as zombie varma.
— Sai Krishna Vajrala (@krishna_vajrala) August 8, 2020
Why Zombie Reddy? Why can’t it be Zombie Varma? Can’t you or your so called industry people make a movie without using “Reddy” or insulting Reddy’s. Shame on you. We gonna fight against the movie. #BanZombieReddyMovie
— Krishna Reddy (@Krishnareddy070) August 8, 2020
On Thursday, Prasanth released a video clarifying the misinterpretations stating that the intention was not to demean the caste or show the people of the community in a wrong light, but rather the opposite. He further added that the film based in Kurnool revolves around the coronavirus. “How people of Kurnool save the world by stopping the pandemic is what my film is all about. It shows Kurnool and its people in a good light actually, so people, please don’t misinterpret the title!” said Prasanth.
Thank you guys for the unDEADLY response to the title. 🤗
Let me clear the misinterpretation.. https://t.co/oqLxadq8HM
Peace ✌️ #ZombieReddy
— Prasanth Varma 5.0 (@PrasanthVarma) August 13, 2020
While the lead cast is yet to be revealed, the film is being bankrolled by Raj Shekar Varma for Apple Tree Studios.
In the motion-poster, set at night, the camera pulls back from a temple atop mountains, revealing an agricultural land, a couple of bats flying, and finally a graveyard stone which crumbles down revealing the title. The moon in the poster turns red, an owl on a tree nearby stares into the camera with lit-up eyes, and a long-nailed hand reaches out and grabs on to the title at the end.
This time will entertain the hell out of you guys! 😈
— Prasanth Varma 5.0 (@PrasanthVarma) August 8, 2020
While the makers had made an announcement about the project in May stating that it was based on true events, the title has been revealed only now. The team also held an online contest asking social media users to guess the genre of the film.
Have you watched the Pre look motion poster of @PrasanthVarma’s next movie ?
Guess the genre of the film, Reply with #PV3 and win surprise gifts. pic.twitter.com/Hr1bMS3SOk
— Apple Tree Studios (@AppleTreeOffl) May 30, 2020
On the technical front, the screenplay is being penned by Scriptsville with Anith on camera, Mark K Robin on music, Sri Nagendra Tangala on art, and Sai Babu on the edit. Prasanna Dantuluri will be designing costumes for the film.
The director had reportedly begun with pre-production work long back and was supposed to go on floors in April. But unfortunately, the pandemic has delayed the process. The team will commence with work post-lockdown.
Watch the motion poster of Zombie Reddy here.
Meanwhile, Prasanth Varma is awaiting the release of his That Is Mahalakshmi, the Telugu remake of the 2014 Hindi film Queen. Starring actress Tamannaah Bhatia in the lead, the film wrapped up shoot at the beginning of 2019. Prasanth was roped in after filmmaker Neelakanta left midway owing to creative differences with the makers.
Prasanth also has Awe 2 in the offing which might star Vijay Sethupathi and Kajal Aggarwal in the lead. The director who has reportedly completed the script has said that the project will go on floors only after he is done with his current commitments. “Awe 2 is going to be completely different. The screenplay and storyline will be heavy and intriguing. Unlike part one, which had multiple stories running parallel, this film will have just one story. But rest assured, this film will be a crazy experiment; something that has never been explored in Tollywood before,” said the director in an interview to the Times of India.
Good news.. #Awe2 is ON! Will start shooting as soon as I finish my current commitments. 🖖🏻
— Prasanth Varma 5.0 (@PrasanthVarma) February 16, 2020
Awe, the 2018 psychological thriller starred Kajal Aggarwal as the main lead, along with Nithya Menen, Regina Cassandra, Eesha Rebba, Srinivas Avasarala, Priyadarshi Pulikonda, and Murali Sharma in supporting roles. The film followed the lives of different characters and the connection between them.
Nani co-produced the film with along Prashanti Tipirneni. He also lent his voice to one of the characters. The film won the National Awards for Best Special Effects and Best Make-up Artist and was a commercial success as well.
Watch the Awe! trailer here.