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Rana Daggubati to star in Haathi Mere Saathi trilingual remake

The Baahubali actor is set to step into Rajesh Khanna's shoes for the remake, to be directed by Prabhu Solomon.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Our Correspondent

While his role in Baahubali: The Conclusion (2017) was larger than life, Rana Daggubati is taking on a whole new challenge by stepping into the late superstar Rajesh Khanna's shoes in an upcoming remake of Haathi Mere Saathi (1971). Directed by Tamil filmmaker Prabhu Solomon, the film is expected to be a trilingual and scheduled to be released in Diwali 2018. 

A report in the daily, Mumbai Mirror, quoted Daggubati saying, "There’s a very exciting physical language to the character I’m playing in Haathi Mere Saathi and is completely different from what I’ve done in the past. I’ve always wanted to be a part of content that can travel across the country. It’s a rare story about the relevance of nature in our lives, narrated through a wonderful relationship between a man and an elephant. Prabhu Solomon’s passion for nature and elephants makes him the finest craftsman in the country who can handle a story like this." 

Haathi Mere Saathi, which released in 1971, was directed by another Tamil filmmaker, MA Thirumugam. The film was also one of the early hits of writers Salim-Javed who went on to form one of the most formidable duo of screenplay writers in Hindi cinema. Starring Rajesh Khanna and Tanuja, Haathi Mere Saathi went on to become the biggest box-office hit of the year, and was one of the 17 consecutive hits that Khanna delivered between 1969 and 1971. 

Prabhu Solomon who has already dealt with the subject of elephants in his film before. The director's Kumki (2012) revolved around the relationship between a mahout and his elephant. His other films, Mynaa (2010) and Kayal (2014) also deal with the subject of man's relationship with nature. 

The report also quoted the director saying, "They are intelligent and magnificent creatures that humans can take a cue from when it comes to living, thinking and love. It will be quite exciting for me to shoot the film simultaneously in multiple languages for the first time." 

The film is being produced by Eros International's Trinity Pictures, and is expected to be released by the Diwali weekend of 2018.