Filmmaker S S Rajamouli’s 2015 historical fiction drama “Baahubali: The Beginning” will expand its franchise by releasing digital graphic novels later this year.
The graphic novel will be based on the blockbuster film and will unravel stories of the characters which could not be shown in “Baahubali”.
“Whatever you’re going to see is not an offshoot from the film, but comes from the inherent story. What you see in the film is a small part. There is much more story, drama, action, adventure interwoven into the comic,” Rajamouli told PTI.
“When we started the film, we created the whole world of Baahubali. It is not just the story of the film you have seen, it is a story of each and every character, kingdom, story of where these people come from. All that has been researched and will be (present) in the comic,” he added.
Rajamouli, along with Arka Media Works, has partnered with Graphic India to produce a number of comics and mobile short films based on the movie.
The director said the online platform will ensure that the film reaches a wider audience.
“There are nearly 20 crore smart phone users in India. ‘Baahubali’ is the highest viewed film in India, in a population of 120 crore. Can you imagine the number of people who saw the film? Two crore. That is because we have very less number of theatres,” he said.
“We have 20 crore screens for people to watch our content. Now, those who had only heard about the film can see the new content at the click of a button. It’s going to have a wider reach than the film.”
Sharad Devarajan, co-founder, Graphic India said the online content will be a “standalone” experience, (while) not trying to connect the first instalment of the film to its upcoming sequel.
“It’s exciting for us to come in and unlock all these mediums, (such as) comics, animation games for the film. This is not about bridging one film to another. This is a standalone entertainment experience like Star Wars and Marvel Universe.”
The team said even though the focus is on digital content as of now, they will venture into other mediums such as published books and other merchandise in future.
“Graphic India and Arka Media Works are also working on a larger animated project, tentatively titled, ‘Baahubali:
The Lost Legends’, which is being developed and produced by Rajamouli, Arka Media Works Chief Executive Officer Shobu Yarlagadda and Devarajan,” the team said.