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Buddha takes a break

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Pre-production has come to a halt on Buddha, a major motion picture backed by telecoms billionaire Dr. Bhupendra Kumar Modi and to be directed by Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar director Ashutosh Gowariker.

Producers say they have yet to find the right actor to play the film’s central figure Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.

A website, Buddha-movie.com, was launched to invite actors to apply for the role of the divine protagonist. Yet, after sifting through over 6000 photographs and videos, Gowariker still has not found his Buddha.

“We need to expand the search. We are still passionate about this project and are determined to get into production this year. But not without Buddha,” said executive producer Bhuvan Lall.

The production team includes international professionals like Karl Walter Lindenlaub (cinematography), Jarrod Linton (pre-visualisation), David Ward (script-screenplay), David Russel (storyboard artist), Glenn Boswell (action), April Ferry (costumes), Dileep Singh Rathore (co-producer and line producer) and Nitin Desai (art).

Introduced four years ago at Cannes, the project was described as an adaptation of one of the world’s most authoritative books on Buddhism Old Path White Clouds by Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. The picture was then revealed to have a budget of $120 million.

The movie, which focuses on the life of Prince Siddhartha and his journey to enlightenment, was scheduled to begin production by the end of this year but could now take longer to kick start.

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