Teja, Puri Jagannadh and Deva Katta – were in the race to direct the highly anticipated NTR biopic with his son Nandamuri Balakrishna in the titular role.
After months of contemplation, Teja got the golden ticket to helm the project which will hit the screens next year. On Thursday, the team assembled at Hyderabad’s Ramakrishna Studios to shoot a special teaser to announce the commencement of the project. According to a source from the film’s unit, Teja will can a few sequences with Balakrishna for the teaser which the team hopes to release on a special occasion to mark the beginning of the project.
“The regular shooting will only commence after the release of Balakrishna’s Jai Simhaa. A special teaser is being shot which will give audiences a glimpse of Balakrishna in NTR’s getup and it will be used to officially announce the project,” a source told.
Interestingly, filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma is also planning to make a biopic on the late actor and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. In July, maverick filmmaker Varma announced he will be making a biopic on NTR. In an emotional voice note, he said he is proud to have been given the opportunity to helm the prestigious project. In the note, he said, “NTR is a name to reckon with every Telugu-speaking individual. He was not just a great actor but a leader with unprecedented following. I’m very proud to direct a film on his life.” He also confirmed that NTR’s son Balakrishna, a popular actor, will play his father on screen.
However, when Balakrishna was contacted to verify the authenticity of Varma’s words, he denied being part of Varma’s biopic. “It’s our responsibility to tell audiences his story. The biopic I’m planning on him will reveal unknown facts about his life. I will play my father on screen,” Balakrishna had told reporters in July.
Varma had said that he is proud to direct the NTR biopic because, “My personal relationship with him goes back to the year when his blockbuster film Adavi Ramudu had released. I didn’t have money to take the bus to the movie hall. I walked ten kilometers each time and watched the film 23 times. I was also one among the lakhs of people who had gathered during his first political meeting, soon after he launched the Telugu Desam Party. From being a faceless guy in that large gathering, to getting to direct his life story means something,” he said, adding his story on the iconic star will shine the spotlight on his enemies, on those who betrayed him and so much more that people do not know about the actor yet.
Varma’s plans were squandered after NTR’s widow Lakshmi Parvathi expressed stiff opposition against his film. In an interview to the Times of India, she had said, “I am not against the biopic. In fact, I welcome the idea. But the movie should reflect the entire truth about his life — especially the isolation and pain he suffered during his last days after he was ‘dethroned’ from power by his own family. This cannot be possible if Balakrishna plays the lead role. He supported Chandrababu Naidu, who back-stabbed NTR and usurped power in the ‘Viceroy Hotel’ episode,” said Lakshmi, who also pointed out that RGV himself portrayed NTR in poor light in his film Rakht Charitra, a biopic on gangster turned politician Paritala Ravi.
Following Lakshmi’s stiff opposition, RGV decided to make NTR’s biopic from her point of view and subsequently titled his film Lakshmi’s NTR. In September, he even released the first look poster of the biopic and he has confirmed the film will hit the screens by next year end.>