The series was announced with much fanfare in 2018 with the film’s producer Arka Mediaworks producing for Netflix. Deva Katta (“Prasthanam”) and Praveen Sattaru (“Guntur Talkies”) were due to direct.
Based on the bestselling “Baahubali” franchise novel “The Rise of Sivagami” by Anand Neelakantan, the series was to follow the journey of Queen Sivagami from a rebellious girl to a wise queen.
A season, costing an estimated $20 million, was directed by Katta using sets in Hyderabad. And later began post-production.
However, Netflix was not entirely happy with the finished product, Variety has learned and considered bringing in other directors, including one who had directed two previous Netflix projects. There were mid-stream cast changes as well.
Netflix and Arka declined to comment when approached by Variety.
“Netflix have been struggling with the project for some time now,” a source familiar with the matter informed Variety.
” ‘Baahubali: Before the Beginning’ is one of the country’s most loved IPs (but) creating India’s first epic series comes with its own challenges,” the source added. “The last two years with COVID were full of complexities and hurdles, which impacted productions, especially one of this scale.”
The streamer is “reevaluating the project to bring the best version of this story” to audiences, the source explained.
Released worldwide between 2015 and 2018, the “Baahubali” films, directed by S.S. Rajamouli, were made on a combined budget of $70 million and collected $370 million globally. Presented in Telugu and Tamil, and several dubbed versions, the films featured South Indian stars Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Ramya Krishnan, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah Bhatia.
Two seasons of animated series “Baahubali: The Lost Legends,” produced by Arka and Graphic India were released on Amazon Prime Video in 2017 and 2018.