In a stunning display of Indian pride, Comic-Con’s Hall H witnessed a thunderous and ear-splitting panel for Project K, the first-ever Indian movie to grace the iconic pop culture convention.
With a star-studded lineup featuring Indian superstars Prabhas, Kamal Haasan, Amitabh Bachchan (via Zoom), and veteran Bollywood producer C. Aswani Dutt, the event unleashed a Beatlemania-like hysteria rarely seen in Hall H.
As drummers in traditional Indian attire paved the way, women holding candles performed a mesmerising ceremonial dance, setting the stage for the unveiling of the newly christened Kalki 2898-AD, a groundbreaking sci-fi epic fusing Indian mythology with the grandeur of Star Wars.
Notably, actress Deepika Padukone, who is also a part of the star-studded cast of the film, chose not to attend this event. The decision came as a result of the ongoing strike by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (SAG-AFTRA) in the US. Being a member of SAG-AFTRA, Padukone decided to stand in solidarity with the protesters and give the event a miss, adhering to the union’s regulations during the strike.
Let’s dive into all the jaw-dropping highlights from this historic moment!
A Bollywood Brigade Takes Hall H by Storm
As the who’s who of Indian cinema entered Hall H, the air crackled with energy. The mere presence of Prabhas, Kamal Haasan, and the virtual appearance of Amitabh Bachchan sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Rana Daggubati, serving as the unofficial moderator, could barely contain the excitement, exclaiming, “We understood what global fandom means… but we were like, now we need to be in the middle of fandom, and Comic-Con it is!”
Mythology Meets Sci-Fi in a Cinematic Marvel
Project K promises to be a cinematic marvel, seamlessly blending Indian mythology with the allure of science fiction. The teaser trailer, reminiscent of the popular Indian blockbuster RRR as well as Timothée Chalamet’s Hollywood epic Dune, had all the hallmarks of a grand Indian movie: heroism, larger-than-life proportions, and a chest-thumpingly enthralling storyline.
At the event, a line of drummers adorned the Hall H stage, creating an entrancing rhythm, while a procession of women gracefully held candles and performed a ceremonial dance. The crowd erupted with excitement as the stars of the show, Prabhas and Haasan, stepped onto the stage.
The atmosphere was electric. Following their entry, a group of sci-fi warriors clad in sleek black costumes also made an impressive appearance, further fueling the audience’s enthusiasm. The enthusiastic crowd couldn’t get enough, immediately clamouring for a replay after the trailer ended.
Indian Cinema Steps onto the Global Stage
Director Nag Ashwin shared the journey of Kalki 2898-AD, revealing that the movie had been in the works for an impressive six years - four for prepping and two for filming. The unique combination of Indian mythology and sci-fi makes it a groundbreaking Indian film that reflects the filmmaker’s love for both his Telugu heritage and the iconic Star Wars franchise. As Haasan expressed, “What makes Indian cinema so great is the energy our audience brings to our cinema. We make the stories, they make the stars.”
A Proud Moment for Indian Cinema
For the filmmakers and the entire Indian film industry, showcasing Project K at Comic-Con was an unparalleled achievement. Swapna Dutt, producer of the movie and daughter of C. Aswani Dutt, said, “This is something we have not dreamt of. There was Telugu cinema, then it became southern cinema, then Indian cinema. But bringing Indian cinema to Comic-Con is just incredible.”
The Spectacle that Stole the Show
Comic-Con’s Hall H witnessed a spectacle that rivalled even the grand musical number from Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings last year. From drummers lining the dais to black-costumed sci-fi warriors, the visual extravaganza was unmatched. In a year without Marvel Studios and DC presence, Project K brought the right dose of pzazz to the convention.
With its unique blend of Indian mythology and sci-fi allure, the $75M production has undoubtedly raised the bar for global fandom. As the movie gears up for its release in 2024, it’s safe to say that Indian cinema has firmly secured its place on the world stage, and Kalki 2898-AD is all set to become an unforgettable milestone in cinematic history.