google playGoogle
app storeiOS
app store
app store
whatsapp_icon Get Alerts on WhatsApp
settings icon
profile icon

4 years of KGF 1: Did you know Prashanth Neel wasn't supportive of the 'pan-India' release of the film?

The writer-director was apprehensive about how Yash's heroism would be received outside Karnataka and when the makers eventually decided to go the pan-India route, he was miffed with them!

4 years of KGF 1: Did you know Prashanth Neel wasn't supportive of the 'pan-India' release of the film?
Prashanth Neel and Yash
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 01.54 PM, Dec 21, 2022

Available On:

K.G.F: Chapter 1 is a significant landmark in the history of Kannada cinema and there's no denying that. The film, which completes four of its theatrical release today, on December 21, went on to open several avenues for the Kannada Film Industry and allowed the local talent to dare to dream and dream big. For Prashanth Neel, who was only making his second film, the success was unprecedented and almost jarring initially but, quite interestingly, he never wished to make the film to be a "pan-India" release. In fact, he even opposed the idea initially until the producers and leading man Yash talked him out of it. For Neel, KGF 1 was always a mega expedition but, by his own admission, he never conceived the film to be a national export. 

"They [producer Vijay Kiragandur, Yash, and others] started looking at it as a big Indian movie. I was not convinced. I don't know what Yash saw in it but my team and I simply followed the story and quite frankly, I wasn't prepared to see the film as a "pan-India" release. But the makers, including Yash, were highly practical thinkers and their decision to mount the film on a national scale wasn't made just because the pan-India wave was around. So, when they saw the first edit of the film [KGF 1] about 6-7 months before the release, Yash grew very serious about making it a big release and he was hell-bent on it. I don't think I know anyone more stubborn and driven like him." 

"But my apprehensions were different - Yash is a highly recognised and popular superstar in Karnataka and I won't have to think twice in building up his character on screen or making a larger-than-life one. People won't mind that at all. But that's not the case when it comes to Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Hindi audiences because, for them, he is a first-timer. And I did not want to portray my hero like that and if the producers really wanted to release the film nationally, I reckoned that we try out a different story. This one [KGF 1] has too much heroism. But when they did eventually decide to go ahead with the pan-India idea, I was miffed with them for quite some time and even didn't speak to them properly for months. Today, however, when I look back, I feel that the decision was made in the best interest of not just the film but the entire industry," said Prashanth Neel in an interview.

In the same breath, he would also commend Yash for bringing in the right associations and ensuring that the K.G.F: Chapter 1 was distributed in the right manner. The film was released in the U.S.A and Canada a day prior (on December 20, 2018) and subsequently in parts of Africa, Hong Kong, New Zealand and parts of Eastern Europe. It was also the first Kannada film to have a theatrical release in Pakistan (as the Hindi dubbed version).