The period drama about an underworld don is the filmmaker’s most ambitious project to date.
Kannada filmmaker has been working on his next, Kabzaa, an underworld tale based on real incidents, with Real Star Upendra since late 2019. A period film set across a few decades, the pan-Indian project is Chandru’s most ambitious to date and is primarily being shot in sets that have been erected in Bengaluru, with some portions to be canned in Hyderabad.
Kabzaa is R Chandru’s third collaboration with Upendra after Brahma and I Love You and will follow the exploits of an underworld don who reigned over South India a few decades ago. The character is not biopic in nature but has been inspired by people and incidents from the underworld back then. When the film was launched, Chandru was hopeful of finishing it soon, as Upendra was not committed to any other project at the time.
However, since then, not only did the pandemic delay the making, but Upendra also got busy with a new film called Lagaam. Kabzaa’s delay was also in part due to the fact that each schedule could only be shot in special sets, which are time consuming to put up, as well as in co-ordinating the dates of its ensemble cast, which includes names likes Kiccha Sudeep, Rahul Dev, Jagapathi Babu, Anup Revanna, Kabir Duhan Singh, Pradeep Rawat, Danish Akhtar Saifi, among others. The team, we hear, is yet to finalize a leading lady, although about 60-70% of it has already been shot.
In fact, Chandru and team are currently shooting the portions featuring Upendra and Sudeep in Bengaluru. The latter plays a pivotal character called Bhargav Bakshi in Kabzaa, whose look was revealed a couple of days ago. After the Bengaluru shoot, Chandru is looking at heading to Hyderabad for a 30-odd day schedule, which will more or less complete principal photography. Given the pace at which shooting of the film has been progressing, the filmmaker is hopeful of making Kabzaa a summer 2022 release, a month or two after KGF: Chapter 2, which is a mid-April offering.