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Ajay Devgn to play Chanakya in Neeraj Pandey's next

The film, to be produced by Plan C Studios, will feature Devgn as the legendary political strategist from 4th century BCE. 

Ajay Devgn and Neeraj Pandey

Our Correspondent

After director Chandraprakash Dwivedi's television series in 1991, the story of Chanakya will be retold for the big screen. Filmmaker Neeraj Pandey's next will feature actor Ajay Devgn as the visionary politician of ancient India.

The makers of the film Plan C Studios, a joint venture of Reliance Entertainment and Friday Filmworks, made the announcement of the film today (11 July).

Chanakya, also known as Kautilya or Vishnugupta, was one of the ministers of Chandragupta Maurya, the first emperor of the Maurya dynasty in 4th century BCE in India. It was his political stratagem that led to the establishment of one of the most expansive kingdoms of ancient India. He is also known as the author of the ancient political treatise Arthashastra.

While there were reports earlier suggesting it will be Dwivedi looking to direct a film on Chanakya, it is now confirmed that Pandey will take on the project. The film will also mark the first collaboration between Devgn and Pandey.

Pandey has previously directed films like A Wednesday (2008), Special 26 (2013), Baby (2015), Rustom (2016), MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, and the latest Aiyaary (2018).

Confirming the news, Pandey said in a statement, "I have been developing this film on Chanakya for quite some time now. It is an exciting work of passion for me, and I am sure the audiences will love Ajay in his portrayal of the visionary genius."

Devgn has already signed on for two more periodicals in Taanaji: The Unsung Warrior, and the delayed Sons Of Sardaar.

Speaking about the film, Devgn said, "I am truly looking forward to playing Chanakya. I have followed Neeraj Pandey's work closely and I know Neeraj will tell this story with the clarity and passion with which it needs to be told."

The story of Chanakya has previously been told in the form of a play, Chandragupta, by Dwijendralal Ray. But it acquired fame in the 1990's, with Chandraprakash Dwivedi's tele-serial, Chanakya.