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Haathi Mere Saathi first look: Rana Daggubati is intense, fierce as Bandev

The actor is set to play the role immortalized by Rajesh Khanna in the original 1971 film with the same title.

Shriram Iyengar

2017 was the year Rana Daggubati broke into national consciousness with Baahubali: The Conclusion (2017). In the new year, the actor is looking to capitalize on this popularity with his upcoming remake of the 1971 Rajesh Khanna film, Haathi Mere Saathi. 

The actor's first look from the film was released today and features a very raw and intense Rana Daggubati in his rustic elephant mahout avatar. Dressed in shabby woollen clothes tied together with a creeper rope, the actor looks very different from his regal Bhallala Dev in the Baahubali films. A close cropped hair and stubble add to the character, named Bandev. 

The actor's look is completed with a massive elephant profile in the background, with the trunk wrapping him up. 

Daggubati is set to play the role immortalized by Rajesh Khanna in the 1971 original. Directed by Prabhu Solomon, the film will be a trilingual, with Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu versions. 

From the first look, it is obvious that the film will not be a complete remake of it's original, but will only borrow elements to create a new film. Reports suggest that it will also borrow from several real life incidents. 

The team is expected to begin shooting the film in Thailand later this year, and several select locations in India. 

Daggubati is also set to appear in the Telugu film, 1945, as well as the biopic on the erstwhile ruler of Travancore, Thirunal Marthanda Varma. 

The Haathi Mere Saathi remake is set to be released in the Diwali weekend of 2018.