We Plan To Introduce Six Superheroes In Phase One Of Our Cinematic Universe: Prasanth Varma

The director of the blockbuster superhero film HanuMan talks about the future of his cinematic universe
Prasanth Varma
Prasanth Varma

Prasanth Varma’s mythological superhero film HanuMan is enjoying a great run at the box office. The modern take on the beloved mythological figure features Teja Sajja in the lead role. The film is directed by Prasanth Varma, who has earlier helmed films like Awe (2018), Kalki (2019) and Zombie Reddy (2021). The original Telugu language release along with its dubbed versions has been getting good reviews and continue to enjoy consistent footfalls despite releasing during the crowded Pongal season. 

The superhero film, which co-stars Amritha, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar and Vinay Rai, is the first part of Prasanth Varma’s superhero universe and follows an ordinary man who is gifted with extraordinary superpowers and has to save his village, Anjanadri, from a power-hungry villain. The film also cleverly gives the impression of Hanuman’s ethos and mythology, without revealing too much of him on screen.

“It was very difficult to find an actor who could suit Hanuman’s face and image, so we did not show him in our movie. But we will show him in the sequels,” says director Prasanth Varma, going on to share his ideas for the sequel and how he plans to present Hanuman in future installments. “In the second film, you will see more of Hanuman on screen. He will be the lead in that. Teja Sajja's character will also be there but the story is about the promise Hanuman made to Lord Ram. We have actually written the story for Jai Hanuman the sequel already. We focused more on the Jai Hanuman storyline than Hanu-Man's story. There were no plans to add a cliffhanger initially but we decided to tease it in the first part just a few months before the release.”


Prasanth has invested three years of time and effort to realise his vision for HanuMan and the journey wasn't completely smooth, especially as the team inched closer to the release, with the lack of screens being a challenge. Was it difficult to accept the fact that his art, at the end of the day, is a product? “ I don't usually attach myself to my work and treat it as some great art or something. I do care about the film and for me, the most important part of the process is the making. Once it’s done, it’s in the producer's and distributor’s hand. So the business side of things is taken care of by them.”

Prasanth is also candid about the challenging behind-the-scenes moments prior to release. “In my previous films, I have had situations where I treated every process like it was my baby and I used to be sensitive about every facet of the film’s release and the kind of audience that it would find. I was very much invested in the post-production works of my previous films and also knew that no matter how hard I tried, things wouldn't be under my control at some point. You cannot decide your release date and which theatre the film will find its way to. Ultimately, it will be treated like a product only. I give my two hundred percent for the film but once it’s delivered, the final film is referred to as a ‘copy’; it's not even being called a film these days. It’s just a file. So it’s better to make the film that you want to make and stand your ground.”

Prasanth says he has been actively working on making things easier for himself in the release decisions. “I've stated in my agreement that producers can decide the release date only after I deliver the finished product. This is the first thing I tell any producer. For instance, I can't work towards a Sankranthi release. Please let me finish my work, and only then I will get to know when I will be able to get the film ready. That’s the only way it will work for me. I cannot work according to the release date.”


The director also discusses his plans for his future films and the ‘Prasanth Varma Cinematic Universe' that has started out on a high note with HanuMan. “Originally, I didn't have plans to make any announcements until HanuMan’s release. I thought audiences would understand how serious I am about this cinematic universe only after its release. We have been working on at least 20 scripts for this universe. We plan to cover six superheroes in phase one of the universe. It will all take place in a parallel universe called ‘Akhanda Bharat’," he says.

The filmmaker has big plans for the future and sounds determined to accomplish them. “There will be new directors helming the upcoming films. You will have a film from Prasanth Varma Cinematic Universe (PVCU) every Sankrathi. It's very exciting for me. Both Adheera and Jai Hanuman are ready to go on floors. We are also done with the writing of the female superhero film in the franchise. I will not have time to do everything, so my team will be there. So we have immediate plans for three films as of now.” 

He also speaks about his aspirations to make films outside this universe simultaneously. "Standalone films will be called ‘beyond the universe’ films. I am already shooting one. In fact, I shot one alongside HanuMan and it is 90% complete. We will announce that project soon.”

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