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Brahmastra sequels go darker with ‘dramatic conflicts’: Ayan Mukerji

There will be both light and darkness in the subsequent sequels of Brahmastrasays director Ayan Mukerji, who teased that fans will be treated to a “dramatic conflict” in the upcoming part two titled Dev Part One: Shiva, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, was just the setup for the upcoming two installments in the epic action-adventure franchise.

The first chapter follows Ranbir’s Shiva unlocking his power to wield the ‘Agni’ (fire) astra after he meets the ‘love of his life’ Isha (Alia). How they both embark on a journey to seek answers about his origins while fighting against dark forces from destroying the world is the main premise of the story.

“‘Love is the light’ was my line for the film. For the longest time Brahmastra: Part One was called ‘Love’ because that was the theme of the film. “It’s a love story and Shiva got his power from love. But ‘Part Two: Dev’ will be a darker and juicier story compared to the dramatic conflict. The follow-ups will definitely be darker,” shared Mukerji.

Also starring Amitabh Bachchan and Mouni Roy, Brahmastra opened worldwide on September 9. While the film has grossed over Rs 360 crore at the global box office, it was criticized for its story and dialogues.

The filmmaker said he is taking “all feedback” into consideration. “Some of the themes from part one will still be used. It’s one narrative and everything we set up in part one will make sense when you see part three. I’ll give it time to read it (reviews) properly for the next few days.

“But I already have my own narrative and story worked out for part two. I will take feedback from part one and re-do part two. We have some tricks up our sleeve, but we will open it up as when the time is right,” he added .The script for Brahmastra, Mukerji’s passion project that has been in the works for over a decade, has been evolving over a period of time. The team used the two years of the COVID-19 lockdown to further create the ‘Astraverse’, the film’s universe, he said.

“If you watch the first film, it ends with Dev coming back. It’s just one story. The baseline is something we had fleshed out.” The climax of the first part does not mean the end of Shiva and Isha’s love story, the 39-year-old filmmaker pointed out.

“Shiva has reached the height of his power at the end of part one. He is able to control and create fire from within himself. The Brahmastra (weapon) is now whole again and it is with Guru (Bachchan) and Shiva. Dev’s character is back. Now we are going ahead with all these characters,” he added.

Soon after the release of the film, social media was flooded with fans wondering who will play Shiva’s parents, Dev and Amrita, in the franchise. Netizens are largely convinced that Deepika Padukone is playing Amrita, but there are doubts about who is essaying Dev. Some say it’s Ranveer Singh, others think it’s Hrithik Roshan. A mouthy Mukerji just listens to these theories.

“I can’t give too many details about part two,” he said, adding that he has actors in mind for the second part. The first film featured Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan and Telugu star Nagarjuna in extended cameos, and Mukerji said he is excited to cast actors from other film industries.

With the Brahmastra trilogy, the audience will also get a snapshot of different cultures in India. “That is my great ambition. I hope I can. Now that we’ve established the Astraverse world in part one, by the time we get to parts two and three, we’ll not only be able to visually visit a lot of paths that make India location wise, but hopefully we’ll be able to to work with people from different industries and regions,” said the director.

“Like, Naga sir represents the power of Telugu film industry, I hope we can bring actors from Tamil or Bengali film industry, like people working in India, but they represent different things,” he added. Brahmastra is produced by Dharma Productions and Star Studios. RRR director SS Rajamouli serves as the film’s narrator for its South Indian language versions.

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