When Ajay Devgn took to his social media handle yesterday to announce his ambitious project, Chanakya, cinephiles were quick to assume that the project would be a biopic on the 4th century BC philosopher and economist.
Contrary to rumours, has learnt that the Neeraj Pandey-directed film will be a modern-day adaptation of the teachings of the scholar, who served as the royal advisor to Chandragupta Maurya.
A trade source reveals, "Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi already made a period drama based on Chanakya in the form of a television series in the '90s. Neeraj is attempting something different with his film. It will be a socio-political drama set in the current times, with the protagonist shown as an able administrator and strategist along the lines of Chanakya. Neeraj, whose films have an undercurrent of political themes, has woven a narrative inspired by Chanakya's teachings and philosophies."
It may be noted that Prakash Jha had attempted the retelling of Mahabharata with Raajneeti.
Devgn's role in the 2010 drama was said to be modelled on the mythological character of Karna. The source adds that Devgn will begin shooting for the film before year-end. "The movie is expected to release mid-next year." Interestingly, last month, rumours were rife that Akshay Kumar was in talks with Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi for a movie based on the same subject. However, the actor had denied the reports. Pandey as well as producers Shital Bhatia and Reliance Entertainment remained unavailable for comment.