Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi has had a string of controversies, the biggest being Kangana taking over the reins of direction from Krish Jagarlamudi and the exit of Sonu Sood. However, what was supposed to be a patchwork shoot has now become a pretty long shoot. A leading daily reported that major portions of the period drama are now being re-shot enabling the replacement of Sood with Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub to be streamlined in the film. What was supposed to be a 10-day shoot has now apparently turned into a 45-day-long schedule that will cater to several plot points that were missing in Krish’s original cut.
The daily reported that the decision was taken after the producers felt that the film deviated significantly from the approved script after watching the rushes in May. A source told the daily, “During the first screening, the producers noted that the movie didn't adhere to the script written by KV Vijayendra Prasad. There were glaring discrepancies in character establishment. For instance, Jhalkaribai's (Ankita Lokhande's character) bond with Rani Laxmibai was not woven well into the narrative, which, in turn, made the climax jarring. It was decided that this track would be reworked in the patchwork shoot. Since Krish had committed his dates to the NTR biopic, the makers decided that Kangana would lead the unit.”
The daily further reported, “When they began the shoot last month, they realised that they would have to re-shoot several portions, if they were to be honest to the script. Rani Laxmibai's emotional journey was reduced to fleeting mentions in the first cut. Plot points like her marriage and the loss of her first child needed to be brought to the fore. It was then that a collective call was taken to film several chunks of the period drama again.”
Reportedly, the producers of the period-drama agreed upon increasing the budget for the film and doing full justice to the original script. They have sanctioned an additional Rs 20 crores for the smooth functioning. The daily reported, “The 45-day schedule will be spread across three venues-ND Studios in Karjat, Film City and Kamalistan. The film will retain several sequences from the original cut, especially the ones shot inside the fort.” Hollywood action director Nick Powell has been brought on board to assist in filming the key action sequences in the film.
A lavish dance will also be reshot that will feature Kangana and Ankita. It will be choreographed by Ganesh Acharya and will be shot in Kamalistan from September 11 over five days. All this is being done to adhere to Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’s release date of January 25, 2019.
The teaser is supposed to launch on Gandhi Jayanti with the trailer being targeted for mid-November. Whether Kangana will share directorial credits with Krish or not is still being decided on. The daily reported, “That is yet to be discussed. It will come up only after Kangana has delivered the film to the producers' liking."