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Indian epic Mahabharata to be made into film

Director Abhishek Kapoor proved that he’s a master storyteller by translating novelist Chetan Bhagat’s bestseller 3 Mistakes Of My Life into a riveting film, Kai Po Che!.

Now tabloid! has learnt that he has moved on to a more ambitious literary venture: He will condense India’s revered Mahabarata — the world’s longest mythological text — into a Bollywood film.

“The Mahabharata expresses the universal truth; it has defined my understanding of spirituality and of all humanity. I aim to translate this onto the big screen, engage minds and deliver a world class cinematic experience,” said Kapoor in a statement. Mahabharata has 100,000 verses and chronicles the feud in a warrior dynasty between the five Pandava brothers and their 100 cousins, the Kauravas.

Backing him in his venture is production house Disney India.

“As we all know, this epic has a deep emotional connection with every Indian. We intend to tell the story in a manner it deserves to be told on screen, and are thrilled to have the incredibly talented Abhishek Kapoor at the helm, with one of the most knowledgeable and talented writers on the subject, Ashok Banker scripting it,” said Siddharth Roy Kapur, managing director of Disney India.

Banker is no stranger to Indian mythology and is a master at re-telling Indian epics. The Mumbai-born novelist has published books on the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and is credited with introducing Indian mythological texts to young readers. His books have sold more than two million copies. Banker also wrote the script of India’s first English television series, A Mouthful of Sky, which enjoyed a successful run on small screen on state-owned Doordarshan channel.

Filming will begin after the completion of Kapoor’s next venture with the studio, Fitoor.