Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Telugu movie HanuMan has remained the talk of the town for several reasons. Made at a mere budget of Rs 40 crore, the movie is running successfully in theatres and has grossed Rs 278.36 crore worldwide, in its 20-day run. Director Prasanth Varma and lead actor Teja Sajja are being showered with praises after the unexpected feat.

Now, all eyes are on updates of Jai Hanuman, the 2nd instalment of Prasanth Varma’s cinematic universe. Even excitement has elevated among movie lovers for other projects included under Varma’s first superhero cinematic universe.

The credit for the phenomenal box office run of HanuMan is also shared with VFX veteran Udaikrishna Pandamaneti, who played a pivotal role in the seamless integration of live-action and animation in the movie. Indeed, apart from the story plot, acting, and presentation, the superlative VFX in the movie keeps the audience hooked.

Also Read: Prasanth Varma’s cinematic universe: After HanuMan and Jai Hanuman, maker to launch first Indian female superhero!

But, did you know that there was a possibility of seeing Rocking Star Yash as Lord Hanuman in the movie?

During an interview with Rediff, Pandamaneti talked about the VFX achievements and said, “We had to seamlessly integrate the Hanuman statue with live-action footage in a complex digital environment.”

The VFX veteran, who has worked in Raees, Zero, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, and Rudhramadevi, recalled the incident when Prasanth Varma approached him in 2021.

Pandamaneti was quoted as saying, “The superhero movie was announced in May 2021and they wanted to start with a mind-boggling teaser. Despite the shoe-string budget, I took up the teaser as a challenge to use a showreel. The teaser was launched with Prabhas’s Adipurush. While that didn’t live up to sky-high expectations, ours was a blockbuster!”

Further, he mentioned that they desired to push the envelope as far as VFX in cinema goes. Be it the underwater scene or the Hanuman statue looming large, the VFX team achieved their vision with a mix of two software used in Hollywood by adopting state-of-the-art existing technologies.

Also Read: Jai Hanuman Teja Sajja talks about his character, Prasanth Varma opens up about unlimited budget for sequel

Undeniably, the giant size statue of Lord Hanuman is the talk of the town. But, Varma was quite sceptical about going with an animated character at first as God was being shown in live action on such a large scale.

Pandamaneti said, “He was toying with the idea of signing KGF star Yash to play Hanuman and incorporate a live-action portrayal. But, I convinced him to let us design a 3D model, assuring Prasanth that it would not appear cartoonish. Our animated Hanuman took us almost seven to eight months to complete, with enhancements going on till the last minute.”

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