The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Now, advent of a campus superman

Mumbai, Dec. 10: The Indian Superman will no longer fly to Singapore to exercise his superpowers, hiding shyly behind his mask. And he will be looking beyond Bollywood.

After the success of Hrithik Roshan’s Krrish, director Mahesh Kothare is set to do his own Marathi version of the superhero. Promising a film “with a difference”, he has drafted in Binoy Samuel, who did the special effects for Hollywood movies such as Victoria Terminus and Manchurian Candidate.

The differences with Krrish are hard to miss.

While Hrithik’s film was made on a mammoth budget of Rs 50 crore, with another Rs 15-20 crore thrown in for the special effects, Kothare’s version will cost about 2 crore.

“It’s not a question of how much money you spend but how well you use it. I shall invest about Rs 30-35 lakh for the special effects, but the film is sure to be a good watch,” the director said.

“I have done films like Chimni Pakhara, which did business worth Rs 4 crore, and Pachar, which was made with a budget of Rs 85 lakh but earned Rs 2 crore.”

The film will be shot not at exotic locales but in the small hill town of Panhara, Kolhapur. The story revolves around a teenage boy who confines his superpower shows to his college campus, wowing his mates.

“I had always wanted to make a film with an element of fantasy. Here, we talk about how a superman resides in all of us, we have to just find him,” Kothare said.

“It’s a youth-oriented film. Audiences are bored of family dramas; they want something new in the script and visual effects. It will be a different film. I did a lot of research on Marathi audiences before coming up with this concept of Superman.”

The director has cast fresh faces: Pushkar Jog will play Superman with Manasi Naik as the lead actress.

Kothare is trying to convince A.R. Rahman to lend him one of his scores.

“Rahman has heard my concept. I needed a special song for the film and he was just the music director I wanted. But he doesn’t score music for films other than Hindi and south Indian movies; so he is still thinking,” Kothare said.

“Rahman is my choice for the title track. As soon as I get an okay from him, I shall select a track from his album.”

The remaining tracks will be composed by Bollywood music directors Ajay-Atul.

Samuel will use 35-mm shots for the film, whose shoot begins on Wednesday. It’s expected to hit the theatres in April. The producer is Suhas Jog.

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