Singapore-based Indian author's immortal superhero story to become Bollywood trilogy

Local Indian author Krishna Udayasankar has clinched a second Bollywood film deal for her books. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore-based Indian author Krishna Udayasankar has clinched a second Bollywood film deal for her books in less than a year.

Indian production house Phantom Films has picked up the screen rights to Udayasankar's 2016 fantasy novel Immortal, which reimagines the legendary warrior Ashwatthama of the epic Mahabharata as a modern-day historian-for-hire.

Cursed to never die, the 4,000-year-old professor is drawn into a search for a historical artefact that may hold the secret to his unending existence.

Last month, it was announced that Sonam Kapoor, one of Bollywood's highest-paid actresses, will be adapting Udayasankar's best-selling mythological trilogy The Aryavarta Chronicles.

Immortal by Krishna Udayasankar. PHOTO: HACHETTE INDIA

Udayasankar, 39, says she is "numb with shock" at having not one, but two film deals. Though Immortal is a standalone book, she says she has been asked by the producer to develop storylines for two more movies, including a prequel.

She says Immortal may seem to be in the vein of superhero stories such as those of Wolverine and Wonder Woman, but she wants to move away from these established narratives. "It's time for the rise of the Asian superhero."

The first films of both trilogies are expected to begin production next year.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.