Ramayana: Alia Bhatt Quits Nitesh Tiwari’s Film Starring Ranbir Kapoor And Yash; Shoot Delayed

Alia Bhatt, who was in talks to play the role of Sita in Nitesh Tiwari’s ambitious adaptation of the Hindu epic Ramayana, has reportedly walked out of the project due to date-related issues. The actress, who is currently busy with multiple projects, could not accommodate the film in her schedule, which has been delayed due to the pandemic.

Just a day back, a source close to producers had mentioned that Alia Bhatt was never approached for the role. Sharing about the casting of the main characters, the source had said, “There were speculations about Ranbir Kapoor, which is true. But Alia Bhatt was never approached for any role in Ramayana. In fact, the film has not yet reached the stage where they offer Sita’s role to anyone; nobody has been approached yet.”

But now a new information has come to light, stating that Alia Bhatt was approached and she has walked out of the project because of scheduling conflicts.

“It’s understandable that a magnum opus like Ramayana requires time and intense pre-production work, as they are going into the smallest details of everything to get it right on screen. Which is why things are progressing at a slower pace. Also, as far as the casting is concerned, Ranbir Kapoor is still committed to playing Lord Ram, while Alia Bhatt – who was approached for the project – is no longer part of it. The actress was in talks for the role of Goddess Sita, but the collaboration didn’t work out because of date issues,” shared an insider. 

Ranbir Kapoor, Yash On Board On Nitesh Tiwari’s Ramayana

Ranbir Kapoor, who is Alia’s real-life husband, is still committed to playing the role of Lord Ram in the film. The actor, who has previously played a superhero in Ayan Mukerji’s Brahmastra, is said to be excited about portraying the epic character on screen.

Another star who is being considered for a pivotal role in the film is Kannada superstar Yash, who rose to fame with his blockbuster KGF franchise. Yash is in talks to play the role of Raavan, the antagonist of the story. The actor has reportedly undergone multiple look tests for the role and is in discussions with the makers.

“The look test has already happened with Yash, and the conversation has progressed positively. The makers are optimistic about getting him on board, but he has not yet signed. Yash is also committed to National Award-winning director Geethu Mohandas for a big-scale action thriller, so his casting in the Ramayana depends on what he prioritizes,” the source elaborated.

Earlier, actor Kangana Ranaut had reacted to Ranbir and Yash’s casting in Nitesh Tiwari’s Ramayana. Kangana is going to star in her own film on Ramayana, Sita: The Incarnation. The actress wrote on Instagram, “Recently I am hearing news about another coming up Bolly Ramayana… Where a skinny white rat (so-called actor) who desperately needs some sun tan and conscience he is infamous for doing nasty underhand PR about almost everyone in the industry… known for womanising and drug addiction after desperately trying to prove himself Lord Shiva in a trilogy (which no one watched or want to make more parts of) has now grown fancy to be Lord Rama…” She also added, “Whereas a young southern superstar who is known to be self-made, a devoted family man a traditionalist also according to Valmiki ji description he looks more like Lord Rama in his complexion, demeanour and facial features… is offered to play Ravana…What kind of Kalyuga is this?? No pale-looking druggie soy boy should play Lord Rama …. Jai Shri Ram (folded hands emoji).”

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Shoot Timelines For Ranbir Kapoor, Yash Starrer Ramayana

The film, which is expected to be a three-part series, is still in the pre-production stage and has not finalised its cast yet. The film was initially planned to go on floors in December 2023, but has been pushed back due to various reasons. The film may now begin shooting in mid-2024.

“Ramayana is happening, but it’s going to take some more time. It’s an ambitious project, and the makers want to be fully prepared before taking it on floors. Directors Nitesh Tiwari and Ravi Udhyawar and producers Madhu Mantena and Namit Malhotra intend to make Ramayana the biggest visual spectacle coming out of India. A large team of qualified professionals from across the world is fiercely working to create the world of the Ramayana in all its glory,” the source concluded, stating that the filmmakers are now planning to go on floors by mid-2024.

Earlier, another source close to the project had told another publication, “Nitesh Tiwari, Madhu Mantena and Namit Malhotra are working slowly and super steady towards the big project Ramayana. The makers are in no hurry and taking enough time before every step they finalise.”

About Nitesh Tiwari’s Ramayana

Ramayana is one of the most revered and popular stories in Indian culture, which narrates the life and journey of Lord Ram, his wife Sita, and his loyal brother Lakshman. The story also involves their exile, their encounter with Raavan, who abducts Sita, and their eventual reunion after a war. The film, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, who has helmed films like Dangal, Bawaal and Chhichhore, will retell the tale with a modern and contemporary perspective.

The film has generated a lot of buzz and curiosity among the fans and the media ever since it was announced. However, it has also faced some criticism and controversy over its casting choices and its potential to offend some sections of the society. Tiwari, however, has maintained that he will not hurt anyone’s sentiments with his film and that he will be faithful to the original source material. He has also said that he will announce the cast and other details of the film very soon.

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