STAR Plus & #BANNER1 & # will air the mythological series, Mahabharata, in the next three or four months. The new series is being produced by Bobby Bedi's Kaleidoscope Entertainment and is being directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi of Chanakya fame.
Commenting on the development, Keertan Adyanthaya, executive vice-president and general manager, STAR Plus, says, "The story of Mahabharata, with its adventures and spiritual journeys, forms a crucial part of Indian culture. People relate to it no matter how many times it is retold."
How different will this Mahabharata be from its predecessors? Adyanthaya says, "The essence of the story will remain the same; it is the treatment and the narration of the story that will create the difference. Our version of Mahabharata will be inspired by epic movies such as The Gladiator and Lord of the Rings (LOTR) and will involve modern techniques of shooting."
NDTV Imagine is hosting another Indian epic, Rayamana, produced by Sagar Arts. When asked if STAR Plus planned the Mahabharata as competition, Adyanthaya says, "NDTV Imagine has been launched a month ago, while we have been planning for the Mahabharata since more than nine months now."
INX Media's 9X also plans to launch a version of the Mahabharata in the next six months. This version is being produced by Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms.
Bobby Bedi's version of the Mahabharata on STAR Plus is expected to have 150 episodes. The programme will be promoted in three months' time. No details were available on the promotion campaign at the time of filing this report.