Director Ram Madhvani whose last directorial 'Neerja' won several accolades, will be directing a web series called ‘Bodhidharma: Master of Shaolin’. However, Ram confessed that he initially thought of making the story of this warrior into a film.
The historical series will trace the story of a warrior prince in sixth century who became the founder of martial arts and Shaolin temple in China.
Ram, who is collaborating with lyricist-writer Prasoon Joshi for this project reveals they first wanted to make this initially into a feature film.
“Then some months ago we came across Aparna from Amazon Prime (where the series will be streamed)and she asked us to consider to make it into a series and Prasoon and I jumped at it. It began as a feature film but it will be a series now,” Ram said.
Considering Ram is going back in time for this historical fiction series, he doesn’t fear any backlash as he has done extensive research on the subject. “We are making a web series on ‘Bodhi Dharma…’ and I don’t fear any backlash. I would fear backlash if I have not researched on the subject. We have had enough people to help us in the research,” Ram said.
“We are not worried about putting together the accuracy of the period, characters and subject. It is historical fiction in terms of characters and not the period,” he said. The ‘Neerja’ helmer believes in doing extensive research for this historical fiction series.
“I am on this project for years. Even in case of ‘Neerja’ we were extremely extensive in research. I like to research on a subject and then make it. Researching is easy making it is difficult,” Ram said.
“Now for Bodhidharma… we are completely honest to that era at the same time there is not much known about the man,” he said.
According to Prasoon, the most challenging part was apart from the central character most of the characters had to be imagined out of thin air. They are fictional but had to connect to the historical truth. One also decided to give it a philosophical nuanced approach whilst keeping the entertainment quotient alive,” he added.
Ram too thinks it was not easy to work on this series. “Since a lot had to be imagined I transported myself into that era and started breathing the mythical hydrogen and got immersed in creating the narrative,” Prasoon adds. The makers are yet to finalise the cast for the series but intend to start pre-production.