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‘Hanu-Man’ to be First Instalment of Universe of Telugu Superhero Films, Says Director Prasanth Varma 

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Official poster of Hanu-Man. Photo source: PR Handout

Hanu-Man is the title of the upcoming superhero Telugu film directed by Prasanth Varma, the makers announced on the occasion of the filmmaker’s birthday on Saturday.

The makers also released the film’s motion poster on social media.

While the cast, technical crew, and producer of the film are yet to be announced, the film will be written and directed by Varma. According to the makers, Hanu-Man will be the “first original superhero film in Telugu” that will be set in a “new cinematic universe”.

Speaking to Silverscreen India, Varma said, “We have been developing the script for quite some time and it will not be limited to one film but will be a universe, just like how Marvel and DC comics have created. Like how they have created a bunch of superheroes, this is the first of many to come. Hanu-Man is the first installment and is almost like an origin film. It will have its own story but also introduce the audience to the world of this universe of a bunch of superheroes.”

Varma said that he “always wanted to make a superhero film” but never had the “budget or market” to make the film.

“I always had the story. After the success of Zombie Reddy, I started to materialise the story into a full script. I have the market and people are ready to invest to do a superhero film with me. This is something that I have waited to do for some time and finally, I got the success that is needed to mount this project, we immediately kicked it off,” said Varma.

The filmmaker said that the film’s idea initiated even before he started to work on Zombie Reddy. Calling himself a “huge fan of superheroes”, he said, “I have watched every superhero film out there. In my childhood, I wanted to become a superhero. Unfortunately, it is impossible so I ended up making a film on one.”

Varma said the film’s producer will be announced later. “I am still trying to set up the studio, and I will be partnering with whoever the studio will be associated with the film. I have the investments for the film, and there are big studios who are interested in collaborating with the project, but I am taking my time to choose considering creative involvement.”

Asked if the story would revolve around the Hindu deity Hanuman or if it would feature a fictional superhero, Varma said, “If you look at the title, it is Hanu-Man, like Superman and Batman. So, it is a new superhero and not the original Hanuman. But you never know, you might see the real Hanuman. There will be mythological references, like how Thor has a mythological connection. It is a fresh story with inspirations from the Hindu epic Ramayana.”

The film will feature a mix of actors along with computer graphics. The filmmaker confirmed that it would be a live-action film.

Varma said that a portion of the film would be shot in the Himalayas.

“Most of the film will be taking place in the world we are creating for which we are erecting sets in Hyderabad. A major portion of the film will be shot on the sets. The design is done, and we were supposed to start building them a month back, but due to the Covid-19 situation, we had to wait,” he said.

The filmmaker said the casting process was underway and lead cast members would be announced within a month. He said that he would be casting both newcomers and known faces. “Due to the Covid-19 situation, everybody is unclear about their dates and previous commitments.”

Asked if the film would have an ensemble cast, Varma said it would “happen eventually”. “The first film will have only one superhero and we have almost finished writing the next superhero film. That will have another hero. So, you might see guest appearances, post-credit scenes. It will be very entertaining. The story will have Indian roots. All my films have had mythological references, so this time, I will go the extra mile to take it to next level.”

Varma said that he was hoping to write the whole universe of the story, but might produce the later instalments. “We will be creating a universe, but it is not necessary that I will be directing all the films. I might move on to different genres and let others direct the film. I am not sure how many installments I will be doing. It depends on the success of this film.”

Hanu-Man will mark Varma’s fourth directorial venture after Zombie Reddy (2021), Kalki (2019), and Awe (2018).

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