Formerly titled Project K, Nag Ashwin’s mythology-inspired sci-fi spectacular project has been officially and finally revealed as Kalki 2898 AD at the San Deigo Comic Con 2023. Nag Ashwin along with his leading man Prabhas, dropped the first teaser of 'Kalki 2898 AD' at the big launch event, attended by actors Rana Daggubati and Kamal Haasan. Producer Aswani Dutt along with the actors and the director, later attended a panel discussion and opened up about the film.
Starring a massive Pan-Indian cast of Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, Disha Patani and Saswata Chatterjee, the film’s teaser captivated the audiences with its visionary concept and spellbinding visuals. “When the world is taken over by darkness, a force will rise,” reads the video as we see armed soldiers storming a fort. While Deepika Padukone appears in short hair in a file of female recruits, Prabhas makes his grand entry in a cool exosuit. “What is Project K?,” he is asked, while catching a deadly lance with his hand. The clip also teased the film's villain with spectacular imagery.
As 'Kalki 2898 AD' is trending on social media, fans are curious to know what it is all about. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nag Ashwin explained the meaning of 'Kalki' in mythology and its importance to the Indian audience. Kalki is the tenth and final incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Indian mythology says that Kalki will appear to end Kaliyug, one of the four periods. In the puranas, Kalki is described as the person, who destroys the ultimate dark force thereby removing adharma. It also marks the beginning of next yuga, which is called Satyayug. For the unversed, not just Indian mythology, Kalki is also mentioned in Buddhist and Sikh texts.
A twitterati went on to provide a detailed explanation of Project K: Kalki. According to him, “The Force awakens and takes control over the earth and wants to do the same with the whole universe. But there's one person that they are scared of and that is Lord Vishnu who incarnated as Kalki to stop this force. Kalki (Prabhas) is indestructible and for the enemy to defeat him, they would need the Ancient Weapons of Lord Vishnu. So, they go after the weapons. And How Lord Vishnu in Kalki Avatar (Prabhas) stopped them all and brought a new age will be the journey of this epic tale.” He also mentions that the Padma (Lotus) in the opening sequence represents Dharma and Cosmic law. “This is not a weapon rather an institution that holds texts that can point to the Weapons. The Force raids this place to loot whatever it needs and destroy what remains,” he added. However, these may just be speculations as twitter is full of many such stories.
While the intriguing first glimpse of the dystopian film has left many curious, a section of social media could not deny it’s similarity to the Denis Villeneuve-directed Oscar-winning film Timothee Chalamet's 'Dune'. However, fans were also quick to add that despite the similar backdrops and background scores of the two films, they feel it could be 'India's answer to Dune and Star Wars' franchises. One more said, “Gave Dune vibes, but still looks promising coz this setting is new in Indian films.”
Contrary, another fan clearly bowled away by the teaser said, “This looks fascinating, especially Amitabh Bachchan's role of Ashwatthama & finally a role where Prabhas looked great." Another fan tweeted: "Looks great in VFX CGI, Set Design, Costume, Music. It will be a game changer for Indian cinema. Also, It Feels like Dune only with Set and backdrop. Very excited to see the concept of #Kalki2898AD. Now I have high hopes."
'Kalki 2898 AD' that promises to transport audiences to a world never seen before in Indian cinema is all set to hit the theatres on January 12, 2024.