Riteish Deshmukh to direct and act in a film on Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Actor-director Riteish Deshmukh on Monday announced his next directorial venture titled “Raja Shivaji”, based on the life of Maratha empire founder Shivaji.

The Marathi-Hindi bilingual is set to bring to life the journey of a young Shivaji, who rebelled against the mighty powers and how he eventually went on to become the revered Raja Shivaji, according to a press release issued by the makers.

The 45-year-old actor-director, who will also play the titular role of Maharashtra’s greatest warrior, said it was his dream to make a film on Shivaji.

“Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is not a mere historical figure; he is an emotion, a timeless saga of valour, and a beacon of hope that has illuminated hearts for over three and a half centuries. A rebel whose courage knew no bounds, he didn’t just rule land, he conquered hearts, earning the endearing title of ‘Raja Shivaji’,” Deshmukh, who directed the 2022 successful Marathi film, “Ved”, said in a statement.

On the eve of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj jayanti on Sunday, the actor also unveiled the poster of “Raja Shivaji”.

The historical action drama is produced by Jio Studios and Deshmukh’s home production banner Mumbai Film Company.

Deshmukh’s actor wife Genelia, who serves as a producer, said binging the life story of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has been their “biggest dream”.

“We embark on a noble quest, not merely to produce a film, but to weave a narrative thread that enriches the tapestry of our culture and history. ‘Raja Shivaji’ is our biggest dream and we couldn’t have found a better partner than Jyoti Deshpande and Jio Studios. It’s not only a huge honour but immense responsibility, and we seek your good wishes as we pursue our calling,” Genelia said.

Jyoti Deshpande, President – Media and Entertainment, RIL said, they are proud to associate with Riteish and Genelia in bringing the story of “Raja Shivaji”.

“Raja Shivaji embodies this vision, it’s not just a regional tale, it’s a culturally rooted narrative designed to transcend languages and regions,” Deshpande said.

The cinematography is by Santosh Sivan and noted music composer duo Ajay and Atul will score the music for the movie.

According to the makers, the filming of “Raja Shivaji” will begin this year.

Two more films are in the pipeline on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, one featuring Akshay Kumar with Mahesh Manjrekar attached as a director and another being made by Sandeep Singh.

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