Netflix on Friday announced the cast of the upcoming spin-off series based on SS Rajamouli’s epic film series, titled Baahubali: Before the Beginning. The show will star Mrunal Thakur (who plays the lead, Sivagami), Rahul Bose as Skandadasa, Atul Kulkarni, Vaquar Shaikh, Jameel Khan, Siddharth Arora, and Anup Soni.
The announcement was made at Netflix’s See What Next event in Asia, in the presence of Deva Katta (director), Prasad Devineni (producer) and Praveen Sattaru (director).
“I knew I wanted to play Sivagami because she’s a strong girl,” said Mrunal, who recently appeared in Tabrez Noorani’s Love, Sonia. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be a hero in real life, but this gave me the opportunity to play one on screen,” she said. “I have played a victim in the past, but this character is something else. She is so confident, fierce and I’m so fortunate.”
“It’s a prequel to both films,” said producer Prasad Devineni. “It will take fans into the backstories of the characters from the films, and we’ll also be introducing new characters.” He said that the film will be set 50 years before the events of the first film.
The series will explore life on the streets of the fictional city of Mahishmati. “The aim is to please the Baahubali fanbase and the huge audience Netflix has across the world,” said Prasad.
Prasad revealed that the epic finale action sequence in the series has been shot by Rajamouli. “To work with him was a delight,” same Thakur. “The sets are huge, it’s a costume drama and I’m very excited concerning the journey of Sivagami and her flaws,” she said.
“We grew up watching a lot of Hollywood films by a lot of auteurs and that gave us our start,” said Katta. “It’s about making it more experiential, that’s the vision of the story.”
Sattaru teased that this won’t be a south Indian series or a north Indian series, however one that caters to a worldwide audience. “Well, this is often the start those who haven’t seen the films aren’t missing anything,” same Prasad, expressing hope that the series will win new fans, who will wish to get the films when looking at the show.
“It’s an epic human drama,” said Katta, “we got to make it engaging from frame one, and that’s how we’ll be able to win a new audience.” The Baahubali series is expected to be released in 2019.