S.S. Rajamouli’s rise continues.
The “RRR” director announced his next film, a yet-untitled feature starring Mahesh Babu, with production starting spring 2023. The Indian filmmaker also signed with CAA for representation. Deadline first reported the news.
“RRR” reached blockbuster theatrical success, grossing as much as $150 million at the global box office since its March release. “RRR” is India’s third highest-grossing movie of all time and is the only non-English language film to trend globally for 10 consecutive weeks on Netflix.
To note, “RRR” is only third to Rajamouli’s prior two films. His 2015 fantasy film “Baahubali: The Beginning” is the highest-grossing film in India and highest-grossing Indian film worldwide. Its sequel “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” surpassed its record, grossing over $225 million at the global box office. Rajamouli also previously helmed “Magadheera,” “Maryada Ramanna,” and “Eega.” The director has been honored by the government of India with a Padma Shri, one of the nation’s highest civilian honors, for his contributions to Indian cinema, and won three National Film Awards.
Action epic “RRR” stars Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr. as two revolutionaries who fight for their country in the 1920s. Rajamouli has compared the film to “Braveheart” in its epic scale in telling a war story.
“RRR” was expected by critics to be India’s Oscar entry for Best International Feature; however, drama “Last Film Show” was officially submitted for Academy Award consideration.
IndieWire’s Eric Kohn called the decision a “shock on many fronts” due to Rajamouli’s “RRR” being a “rare crossover event movie from India.”
Kohn wrote, “The breakout success of ‘RRR’ in the U.S. inspired Rajamouli and his producing team to launch an awards campaign ahead of the submission process, financed by his own production company.”
Rajamouli told IndieWire that while he has “no idea” about how the Oscars submission process works, he still dreams about being recognized by the Academy.
“Obviously, for an Indian filmmaker, the Oscar is a very, very big deal,” Rajamouli said. “Everyone dreams about it. But only a few times have we had a chance to be nominated. Whatever has happened so far with this film has happened completely organically, and that has given us the encouragement to go further.”
While Rajamouli teased a possible “RRR” sequel, he added, “For the past 25 years, I’ve made films in a certain way. But I’m quite curious. If there’s something I could learn from it, I would really like to work on a Hollywood production to learn the nuances of filmmaking there. Let’s see how it goes.”