'KGF-Chapter 2' is the latest pan-India movie from down South, to create a buzz across the country, after the box office magic of 'Pushpa-The Rise' and 'RRR'.
However, despite the hype surrounding 'KGF-Chapter 2' in the run up to its theatrical release, director Prashant Neel told IANS that the movie retains its native essence.
"I know it looks like we changed too many things because we brought in a huge starcast. The casting was done to perfection. When you watch the movie, you'll realise why we chose each of these characters. We wanted a strong Hindi speaking woman, we got that with Raveena Tandon madam, then Sanjay sir (Dutt) was always in the script. We had always written him.
"So that was easy for us. Rao Ramesh sir, we wanted that kind of screen presence to portray a CBI director. So all of these were automatic choices. It wasn't as of they were chosen because it's a pan India movie," the director elaborates.
Recalling his experience of working with Bollywood stars Sanjay Dutt and Raveena Tandon, the 'KGF' director confessed that he was bowled over by their professionalism.
"I was apprehensive to begin with because they are all people who had worked with so many directors for so many decades. I was apprehensive if they were going to give me a second take. They gave me the 10th take also and they had a smile on their face. They're absolute legends. They never left the sets, the discipline they had. They worked on their looks. They made sure that everything is perfect. They were brilliant. They didn't make me feel like I was directing my third movie."
Releasing nationwide on April 14, in Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam, 'KGF - Chapter 2' is written and directed by Prashanth Neel, and produced by Vijay Kiragandur, under the Hombale Films banner.
With speculations rife that more KGF movies could be in the pipeline, Prashant Neel categorically denied such possibilities.
"We are not going to move on with that saga. I don't think so. The story was meant to be told in two parts and that is what we're sticking to," he states emphatically.
The sequel to the highly successful 'KGF-Chapter 1' happens to be the first Sandalwood movie to go national. Giving full credit to the movie's star Yash for the success of KGF series, Prashant Neel feels that the movie will encourage movie makers from Karnataka to think big.
"What KGF did was, one person Yash took it out and made sure that people notice a movie like this. Now, I think it'll become bigger because there's so much of talent in the industry. There are people far more talented than Prashant. They all will start think we can do something much bigger outside."
With the Covid outbreak delaying the theatrical release for two years, the KGF-Chapter 2, starring Yash, Sanjay Dutt and Raveena Tandon, is finally set to release on April 14.
"I'm very excited only because we have told the story that we had initially set out to tell. Rest is left to the audience and their expectations. I think we have sort of shielded ourselves from the expectations for a long time. It's only now that it's hitting us close to the release," he said.