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India’s biggest-budget movie ever is the slick desert sci-fi Kalki 2898 AD

Previously known as Project K, the movie surpasses RRR as the most expensive Indian film ever made

Pete Volk (he/they) is Polygon’s curation editor for movies and TV, with a particular love for action and martial arts movies.

Participation from American studios is light at this year’s SDCC, with many pulling out of the event amid ongoing strikes for both the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild. But there’s a whole wide world of movie-making out there beyond the U.S., and the Telugu and Hindi film Kalki 2898 A.D. became the first Indian movie to be presented at the event’s Hall H, with a new trailer, a new title, and a panel.

Kalki 2898 A.D. is an epic-scale sci-fi movie with a star-studded cast, including Telugu Baahubali star Prabhas, Tamil superstar Kamal Hassan (recently seen in Vikram), Hindi star Deepika Padukone (recently seen in Pathaan), and legendary Hindi actor Amitabh Bachchan. The movie comes from director Nag Ashwin, best known for his award-winning biopic Mahanati. Not much is known about the plot as of now, but the trailer showcases massive battle sequences, plenty of intrigue, and a desert environment.

Initially referred to as Project K, the Kalki 2898 A.D. title was revealed at the SDCC panel. It is the biggest-budget movie in Indian cinema history, with a budget of around $75 million. The previous biggest-budget movie in Indian cinema history was RRR, the smash 2022 sensation that won an Academy Award and the even more prestigious title of Polygon’s #1 movie of the year.

Kalki 2898 A.D. has a scheduled release date of January 12 in India. There is no slated US release date yet, but the movie will get global distribution.

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