For Arijit and his sister Anandi, memories of their childhood came rushing back when Sony Pictures India announced a ‘Shaktimaan film trilogy’, based on India’s first televised and homegrown superhero Shaktimaan. The original TV show, with Mukesh Khanna in the lead, aired from 1997 to 2005 and was a huge hit with ’90s kids. Khanna played both Shaktimaan and his alter ego, Pandit Gangadhar Vidhyadhar Mayadhar Omkarnath Shastri, in the Doordarshan TV serial.
Sony Pictures India has acquired the film adaptation rights to Shaktimaan for the big screen. Sharing a teaser, the makers announced that the trilogy will be headlined by one of India’s major superstars and directed by a top filmmaker. Sony Pictures India has partnered with the TV show’s original producer, Mukesh Khanna’s Bheeshm International, and Brewing Thoughts for the trilogy.
In the teaser video, we see Earth and a busy street with the words, “As darkness and evil prevail over humanity, it’s time for him to return.” Then, the symbol of Shaktimaan appears and we get a sneak peek at the ‘most popular and loved superhero’ in his sleek costume. But not his face. The makers call him the “people’s hero”.
Sony Pictures India tweeted, “After the super success of our many superhero films in India and all over the globe, it’s time for our desi Superhero!” Among many others, Mukesh Khanna was tagged in the tweet.
Khanna took to Twitter to inform fans that he is late in updating them on the ‘Shaktimaan’ film. “By now, you know that we are making a film on Shaktimaan. It has become viral. However, I felt it is my responsibility to let you know that I have fulfilled my promise,” he tweeted in Hindi.
For those growing up in the 90s, Shaktimaan was their go-to superhero. So, the moment Arijit saw the news on social media, he knew he would watch the film with his sister. “Both of us used to watch Shaktimaan together. My father even got me a Shaktimaan costume. We still remember the characters like Tamraj Kilvish, Geeta Vishwas and Dr Jaikaal. I am excited to see which actor will play Shaktimaan on the big screen,” said Arijit, now an IT consultant.
Netizens are also having a field day ever since Sony Pictures India announced the film. Fans of Shaktimaan can’t hold back their excitement and they are already suggesting names of actors to essay the lead role. As of now, Akshay Kumar and Vidyut Jammwal seem to be frontrunners to play Shaktimaan on big screen among Twitterati.