Ra.One is an upcoming 2011 Hindi science fiction superhero film written and directed by Anubhav Sinha, and starring Shahrukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in the lead roles. It also stars Shahana Goswami, Dalip Tahil and Chinese-American actor Tom Wu in supporting roles, along with Rajinikanth, Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra in cameo appearances. The film is jointly produced by Eros International and Khan's production company, Red Chillies Entertainment,and was originally scheduled to release in the summer of 2011. However, due to extensive post-production work involving special effects and the 3D conversion, its release was postponed, and is now set to have a worldwide release during the Diwali weekend of October 26, 2011.Ra.One is currently India's most expensive film to date and will be released in both 2D and 3D formats across 3,200 screens in India, along with its dubbed versions in Tamil, Telugu and German.
- Shahrukh Khan as G.One / Shekhar Subramanium
- Kareena Kapoor as Sonia Shekhar Subramanium
- Arjun Rampal as Ra.One
- Armaan Verma as Prateek Subramanium a.k.a. Lucifer
- Shahana Goswami as Jenny Nayar
- Satish Shah as Iyer
- Dalip Tahil as Barron
- Tom Wu as Akashi
- Suresh Menon
- Rajinikanth as Chitti (Cameo)
- Sanjay Dutt as Khalnayak (Cameo)
- Priyanka Chopra as The Damsel in Distress (Cameo)
- Amitabh Bachchan (Voice-over)
Directed by Anubhav Sinha Produced by Gauri Khan Written by Anubhav Sinha Screenplay by Anubhav Sinha
Story by Anubhav Sinha Starring Shahrukh Khan
Music by Vishal-Shekhar Cinematography Nicola Pecorini
Editing by Sanjay Sharma
Distributed by Eros International Ltd.
Red Chillies Entertainment
Release date(s) October 26, 2011 Country India Language Hindi
DevelopmentAccording to director Anubhav Sinha, the idea of making Ra.One originated while he was watching television six years ago.Upon writing the script, he proposed the idea to Shahrukh Khan several years later who instantly agreed to produce and star in it.Red Chillies Entertainment's Keitan Yadav revealed that during the release of Main Hoon Na(2004), Khan was keen on making a VFX-loaded film that was larger than life. His production company continued working on other projects and seeking for the right film until they finally decided onRa.One.As pre-production work began to occur in 2007, Sinha spent several months going through video clips, digital art portals and comic books; he later explained that this process helped him in creating a novel character.The film's crew comprises of more than 5,000 members from India, Italy and the US, and was pieced together by more than 1,000 people, working in shifts, in around 15 studios across the world.Special effects creator Robert Kurtzman was assigned to design the suits of Khan and Rampal's characters. While both the actors shot the film wearing a simple suit, a good deal of sparkle and polishing was later added to enhance its look.Nicola Pecorini was roped in as the director of photography, with V. Manikandanproviding extra assistance, and Martin Walsh was responsible to edit the film. Sound designer Resul Pookutty was assigned the duty of enhancing the sound effects with the use of the Dolby Surround 7.1 system. In an interview, he explained, "Ra.One is not just a movie experience [...] It requires a very unconventional sound and visual quality for which we are installing the required equipment."Due to the revived interest in 3D technology in India, brought in by the success of Haunted – 3D (2011), the makers of the film announced that they were contemplating on turning portions of the movie into 3D. Khan revealed in an interview that "some part[s] of the film we are trying to do in 3D and Prime Focus is doing that for us. They have a technology with which after you have shot the film, it could be converted into 3D. But there are reservations on it because you know that we have to shoot that with different cameras."In July 2011, it was announced that the entire film would be converted into 3D, a process that required the collaboration of several individuals. The film is reported to have close to 3,500 VFX shots, with 800 of them being solely dedicated to G.One's suit alone, thus exceeding the total amount of shots that was used in the 2009 Hollywood filmAvatar. Keitan Yadav notes: "There is no software or technique in the industry that we have not used for this film. For 3D, we have used software like Maya, Houdini and Macs. For composites, we have used Nuke and Shake. We have even written our own programmes. We programmed certain things rather than doing them manually."Reports of similarities between Ra.One and the 2010 Tamil release Enthiran have been surfacing since the former entered principal photography. When asked about the comparisons, Khan noted "They [both] are different films. I will not like to talk about anyone else's film but Rajni sir is respectable to all of us."
Casting and filmingRa.One's shooting was originally supposed to begin in Miami, USA, but due to budget concerns this was scrapped.The first phase of filming began in India in March 2010 and continued until May in Mumbai's Film City and Goa. While filming, Khan admitted to finding difficulties with the rubber-made costume that was specially designed for his character, later commenting: "The costume was designed in a way that I had to take the help of girls to get into it and vice-versa. I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink much in between the shoots [...] By the time, the shooting of the film was wrapped up; I ended up losing ten kilos."Production of the film's second and third phase occurred with the entire cast in London, and ended in August,[which included a heavy duty action scene involving Khan and Kapoor.During this period, a picture of Kapoor's character was also revealed to the media.The film's final phase commenced at Filmistan Studio in December 2010 and was shot over seven days.The remaining portions were shot in Mumbai and completed in July 2011. While shooting for the film in Mumbai, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Yash Raj Studios, to watch Khan at work.In order to celebrate the film's completion, a wrap-up party was held at the end of the month in Mumbai.As a way to make his character more believable, Khan decided that he would perform his own stunts in the film.In 2010, Kareena Kapoor was signed on to play the female lead whilst Arjun Rampal was later approached for his role of a villain. During an appearance on the chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Khan stated that Jackie Chan was "approached for a role in the film". Khan had reportedly sent Chan the detailed script of the film, along with the action sequences and a brief synopsis of his character;it was later confirmed that Chan would not be part of the project.In July 2010, Khan announced that Chinese-American actor Tom Wu would be part of the film.Actors Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra were confirmed to make cameos whilst actorRajinikanth will be seen appearing in a special scene.The actor shot for the film on October 2, 2011 at Subhash Ghai's Whistling Woods Studios with his daughter Soundarya in Mumbai despite of recent health problems. Several days later, it was announced that Amitabh Bachchan would be doing a voice-over for an important scene in the film.
SoundtrackThe soundtrack of Ra.One was composed by Vishal-Shekhar whilst the lyrics were penned by Atahar Panchi, Vishal Dadlani and Kumaar. Director Anubhav Sinha announced that the soundtrack would also feature two songs recorded by Senegalese American R&B singer Akon.The makers of the film have complied with international copyright laws and have obtained the license to use Ben E. King's song, "Stand By Me", on which they have based the song "Dildaara".
Satellite and music rightsIn March 2011, it was announced that the television broadcasting rights for Ra.One had been sold to Star India for a record sum of 40 crore (US$8.92 million), surpassing the previous record of 3 Idiotsfor 33 crore (US$7.36 million). The film's music rights were bought by T-Series for 15 crore (US$3.35 million) whilst the distribution rights were acquired by Eros Entertainment for 77 crore (US$17.17 million). The distribution rights for the film in Tamil Nadu and Kerala were bagged by Abirami Ramanathan for a reportedly record, but undisclosed, price.
PromotionsThe producers of Ra.One set a record marketing budget of around 40 crore (US$8.92 million), of which 15 crore (US$3.35 million) had been used for online promotion, making it the highest ever for a Bollywood film.The publicity campaign of the film has often been cited as the "longest promotion in Bollywood history", as well as "the most comprehensive and all-pervasive among people's lives".Ra.One's first look was unveiled by Khan on his Twitter page on January 1, 2011.Several months later, director Anubhav Sinha announced that he would be launching two teaser trailers of the film during the 2011 Cricket World Cup, a prior nine months before the film's actual release date.Asked about why he was launching the film's trailer so early, Sinha commented, "Ra.One is not a Bollywood film that [the audiences] have seen before. The kind of size and magnitude that the film has requires it to be slowly introduced to the audience and that is the very purpose why we are starting the whole communication so early."The film's first theatrical trailer was released three months later to the public. As a way to promote the theatrical trailer, Khan was accompanied by the director on a five city tour, which included such places like Delhi, Chandigarh, Indore and Ahmedabad.Khan further reported that he would be travelling along with his co-stars (Kapoor and Rampal) to 36 different cities over a period of five months to promote the film.During the same event, a 3600 ft long fan mail collecting audience wishes and messages for the film was also launched.In early September, Red Chillies Entertainment launched a sizeable viral marketing campaign for promoting the film more effectively in the online arena.The company launched the official customized Ra.One channel of the film on YouTube (a first for an Indian film) where several song and theatrical promos were released to the public, along with videos of the film's making, events and uncut footage.The channel also hosts games, including the first social game from India, and contests where participants can create promos from clips, music and dialogues of the film.In addition to YouTube, Khan announced that the film would also be collaborating with the Formula One races, as a part of the inaugral Indian Grand Prix, as well as Google Plus and Nokia to promote the film and its merchandise.Three weeks before the film's release, a mass media campaign was launched by Western Union for international promotions. Encompassing platforms such as the radio, television, print media and outdoor advertising, it was launched in the U.S., Canada, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific as a way to connect with the millions of non-resident Indians across the world.The look of the film's titular character Ra.One, portrayed by Rampal, was heavily guarded and kept under strict wraps, with the entire filming unit required to keep mobile phones away from shooting locations, and signing non-disclosure agreements. The first look of Ra.One was initially scheduled to be revealed on the eve of Dussehra. According to the producers, the time was chosen to show the symbolism between his character and the mythological villain Ravana (of the Ramayana), both of whom are supposedly "equally bad". However, due to certain technical glitches, it was later released to the media during the film's audio launch in Tamil at Sathyam Cinemas, Chennai.
Video gamesIn July, Red Chillies Entertainment declared a tie-up with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) to build a full cycle game of the film on PlayStation which offers more than 20 game environments. The film’s characters have been replicated to provide the look. It also uses original voice-overs from the actors.The video game, called "Ra.One - The Game", is available on PS2 andPS3, and was launched in an event at Mumbai on the 5th of October. The PS2 version is meant for the Indian market while the PS3 is for the international market. The game boasts of a series of firsts: a first full cycle BluRay PS3 game developed with an Indian developer; first console game to be dubbed by a leading Bollywood actor and also the first Bollywood title to appear as a full cycle PlayStation game.In addition to launching the video game, Red Chillies also collaborated with UTV Indiagames to design a social game based on the film. An investment of around 4.5 crore (US$1 million), the storyline of the game, unlike the console game, is not borrowed from or similar to that of the movie however it is based on the character of G.One. The game is launched across platforms like mobiles,tablet PCs, the direct-to-home platform and social networking sites like Facebook. According to the company's digital and new media head Shailja Gupta, the idea behind the digital marketing is to create a franchisee for Ra.One. She explained, "Social gaming is just one part of the digit marketing strategy. The unique part of the social game is the integration of merchandise and gaming."
Merchandise and comicsAs a way to promote the film and increase its franchising business, Red Chillies announced that they have collaborated with UTV Indiagames to develop digital comics based on the film's characters. Written by Shahrukh Khan, the comic has weekly episodes and serves as a prequel to the events happening in the movie.Moreover, an official G.One store was also launched on the film's official website, where people could buy merchandises related to the film. Products included back to school items, limited edition toys, as well as many other things.A jewelery line inspired by the symbol of "Ra.One" was also unveiled at an event in Mumbai.
PremieresThe first international premiere of Ra.One will be held in Dubai on October 24, 2011, two days prior to the release of the film.Additional premieres are expected to take place in London on October 25, New York and Toronto.The cities were chosen keeping in mind their large international significance, as well as the presence of large South Asian populations. However, it was later announced that Kareena Kapoor would not be attending the Toronto premiere due to prior work commitments.