Ram Gopal Varma’s Unbelievable Rs 340 Crore ‘Nuclear’ Dream
Just when we were all set to write stories about Ram Gopal Varma’s imminent “comeback” to Hindi cinema with Sarkar 3, the filmmaker has lobbed a huge bouncer at us. A Rs 340 crore huge bouncer.
RGV’s last “respectable” Bollywood venture was Department, featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt in 2012; the filmmaker’s last bona fide hit in Hindi was Phoonk in 2008.
Since then, Varma has dabbled in several B-movies, Telugu films and a short. With Bachchan giving a nod for Sarkar 3, RGV was back in Bollywood’s big league and is currently shooting with Big B.
So no one was really prepared for what hit us on Monday morning - a 4-page advertisement in a leading tabloid announcing India’s most expensive film ever to be directed by Ram Gopal Varma.
The film is titled Nuclear and its cost is a mind-boggling Rs 340 crore (this is without the fee of the international talent, mind you).
Here’s what RGV’s vision of a World War III is like:
The filmmaker also took to Twitter to publicise his mega-venture:
The immediate question would of course be - who exactly is bankrolling the project at this incredible budget? The backers are CMA Global and the website of the group is quite vague. Devoid of any humans (no CEO, MD, Board of Directors) it merely lists the various companies that the conglomerate operates:
And according to their press release, the reason why CMA Global is fishing out over Rs 340 crore for Ramu’s film is:
...the script of NUCLEAR really impressed us beyond anything we ever heard and we at CMA GLOBAL felt that this is truly a once in a life time project. We strongly felt it was an extremely pertinent and important film to be made for the tremendously uncertain times we are living in. Our entire group of companies felt that the subject matter of NUCLEAR is truly international and would be of immense interest to a worldwide audience and we unanimously decided to produce this film no matter what it costs.CMA Global
Here is Ram Gopal Varma’s take on the film:
The echoes of the nuclear bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still reverberating in the world’s ears 70 years after they exploded making it impossible for the world to forget the terror they unleashed. The only thing which can be more terrifying than that is, if that explosion happens now in our times. It is because of this fear that America acted against Iraq. If an act based on mere suspicion that someone could be in possession of a nuclear bomb bring in so much of hate and divide between the countries of the world resulting in regime collapses, friendly countries becoming sworn enemies, rise of ISIS etc., then it’s obvious that an actual nuclear explosion in a big city like Mumbai can easily trigger WORLD WAR III and thus end the WORLD.Ram Gopal Varma
No doubt, the plan to film Nuclear is an ambitious one. But the budget of Rs 340 crore for it is surreal altogether.
Currently, India’s most expensive film under production is Rajinikanth starrer 2.0 (Robot 2). The budget estimated for it is upwards of Rs 250 crore - and this is because a hugely successful superstar (Rajinikanth) and director (Shankar) are coming together, besides of course all the VFX and animation spectacle that will be created.
But this World War Three saga needs an additional Rs 100 crores. Nuclear comes with Ram Gopal Varma (last Bollywood hit was in 2008, remember) at the helm and no matter how many countries you shoot in or how many VFX shots of bombs going off you factor in, how exactly do you exhaust a budget of Rs 340 crore? We did attempt to get in touch with the filmmaker to get some more details on his dream project, but got no response.
The story doesn’t end here, CMA Global has apparently struck a deal with RGV for 15 films... yes, you heard that right, FIFTEEN films. Some of the other projects in the pipeline include “the most expensive horror film ever” called The Dead Are Alive and The Tablet, “the first ever science fiction thriller dealing with immortality”.
Usually, when a film project of this scale is announced with a 4-page ad, the film industry would be buzzing about it. At the very least, there would be some social media chatter around it. But RGV’s multi-hundred crore Nuclear was almost met with a suspicious cold silence from Bollywood.
Will Ramu’s Nuclear make it to the big screen at the said budget? We’ll wait and watch, but for we do know that the producers have invested around Rs 1 crore in it. Yes, that’s the rough cost of buying 4 full pages in a leading city tabloid.