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India’s S.S. Rajamouli Teases Third ‘Baahubali’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 5/3/2017 Naman Ramachandran
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LONDON — S.S. Rajamouli, director of the blockbuster “Baahubali” franchise is not ruling out another film in the series, despite “Baahubali: The Conclusion” effectively ending the story.

A voice over above the sequel’s end credits hints at continuing the fantasy saga. Speaking to Variety ahead of a sold-out screening at the British Film Institute in London packed with raucous fans Rajamouli described the voice over as “a fun thing for the fans.”

“Because we have the market and if we made a film for the market without having a compelling story, that would not be honest filmmaking. But who knows, if my father comes up with a compelling story, like he did before, then there is no stopping, we can always make it.”

The “Baahubali” franchise is based on a story by Rajamouli’s father Vijayendra Prasad, who also wrote the blockbuster “Bajrangi Bhaijaan,” starring Salman Khan.

“Baahubali 2” has already grossed $110 million worldwide in five days of release including $88 million in India and nearly $11 million in North America, outstripping the $100 million collected by “Baahubali: The Beginning.”

“The story had so many challenges, but the story and characters showed us the path. We knew that there was not enough market in one region, so instead of limiting the story, we worked hard to expand the markets. Now the markets are open and we have a big fan following,” said Rajamouli.

“We didn’t expect this kind of money, not just money, this kind of adulation and craziness, this quick,” said Rajamouli.

Producer, Arka Mediaworks is looking to expand the current film beyond the traditional markets for Indian cinema. “With the first part we explored quite a few markets. All our distributors are still on board for the second part. We are looking at Taiwan and Korea. China will be the next big one, which we failed to capitalize last time,” said Arka’s Shobu Yarlagadda. “We’re taking it seriously now. I want to try and crack that and then the South American markets.”

There are several reports of Rajamouli being attached to various future projects, but he dismisses all of them, except one. “’Mahabharata’ I want to do, but ten years down the line, not now,” he said.

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