It can be bad luck for the public to find out a film in production has an unusually large budget, or that it's exceeding the budgetary limitations imposed on it by the studio – just look at infamous flops, like Heaven's Gate or Waterworld, to see what can happen when general audiences get the idea that a movie should have more than the average entertainment value bang on account of the inordinate amount of bucks that were spent on it. But that's Hollywood, and a billionaire in the United Arab Emirates is evidently not interested in applying those lessons to the Indian film industry, because Dr. Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty recently announced to the public that he intends to finance the most expensive Indian film ever made.
Shetty is prepared to spend $150 million on what he promises will be "an epic of all epics," based on The Mahabharata, one of two major ancient Sanskrit epics. It will follow the story of the Kurukṣetra War fought between two warring families: The Pandava and the Kaurava. Arab Times reports that the film will have a fittingly epic arsenal of spoken languages to complement its epic nature – English, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu – and that it will, like all true blockbusters these days, be released in two parts, with Part II coming out around 90 days after the first, which is set to premiere some time in the first part of 2020.
V.A Shrikumar Menon, a filmmaker from India, will direct the film, but Shetty sees the project as a bridge between the Indian and global film industries, and has said that the movie will be translated into "over 100 languages and reach over 3 billion people across the world." Hopefully, given its record-breaking budget, this will be more of an Apocalypse Now and less of an Ishtar.