Mahabharata – The Pale King

mahabara2The MAHABHARATA is the world’s greatest epic story. Hindus believe in their DNA that any exposure to it (read, see, hear etc.) will bring them greater success in this life and closer to Nirvana in the next. The brand in South Asia could not be bigger. A few sentences cannot convey the immensity and contemporary importance of the epic, however here are a few pointers:

The Mahabharata is the longest poem in the world with profound meaning for all Hindus (over 1 billion people, with over 1.5 million in the US), and all people of South Asia and the Muslim world (another 1.7 billion people). For more than two thousand years, the Mahabharata has influenced culture, art, literature, social behaviour and politics. The core narrative is surrounded by a huge body of secondary stories – mythological, exotic and philosophical – woven elaborately into an exciting tale of treachery, intrigue and war set in the ancient land of India. THE PALE KING focuses and dramatises the first section of the epic into a major 3D fantasy involving the Three Worlds – the Realm of the Gods, the Earth, and the Demon Underworld. The central characters are cousins: the Kauravas and the Pandavas, who find themselves on opposing sides, destined to fight to the death. The Princess Draupadi is married to all five Pandava brothers – and coveted by the Kaurava leaders.

In this world fantastic magical things can happen. A woman can be born from a fish, a mother can drown her babies for good reason; a princess can shut her eyes tight not to see her hermit lover, and her child is born blind. A sari is torn away to reveal a woman’s nakedness, but the sari is magically never ending. THE PALE KING will be the first global production to be made from the ‘sacred’ epic. The technology now exists to create a major global CGI property, a family entertainment movie that will appeal to both Western and South Asian audiences, with the standards of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Avatar.




“The aim is to film the MAHABHARATA epic as three movies for global audiences, THE PALE KING is the first of them. The stories contain everything you could want in a spectacular production that will sell popcorn as well as satisfy the purist. Plus they contain something else which is special: the possibility of transporting the audience to a world they have never seen before set in a culture that has not been experienced in the West.

In order to do this we will rethink the epic in terms of the kind of strong narrative needed to hold an audience and at the same time be true to the original. In order to visualise what we want to achieve imagine an Indian take on the great Chinese films Hero, House of the Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, with their sculptural beauty and breathtaking action, combined with the heroic tale and CGI special effects of Lord of the Rings and Avatar. There will be two parallel versions of the movie, in English and Hindi, dubbing the actors to the highest quality in both languages where necessary and using different music and musical sequences for each version.

We propose to use a mix of Indian and non-Indian actors, using Bollywood and Hollywood movie stars wherever possible. Our wish list includes Aamir Khan, Samuel Jackson, Joaquim Phoenix, Tom Hardy, Lennox Lewis, Ryan Gosling, Salman Khan, Chow Yun Fat, Gabriel Garcia Bernal, John Malkovich and Aishwarya Rai. (Brief intro to the Director TBA.)