After Kalki 2898 AD, Reddit debates if Brahmastra makers didn’t give Amitabh Bachchan the role and ‘respect’ he deserved

Kalki 2898 AD has taken the box office by storm, grossing over 700 crore worldwide in its first week. Directed by Nag Ashwin, the film stars Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan. After a recent statement of Kalki 2898 AD producer Ashwini Dutt grabbed attention, a section of Reddit wondered if Amitabh was given the ‘respect’ an actor of his stature demands by the makers of the 2022 film, Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva. Also read | Kamal Haasan on Amitabh Bachchan’s Kalki 2898 AD performance: ‘I don’t know if I should call him a veteran or fresh…’

Amitabh Bachchan in Karan Johar-backed Brahmastra (left) and as Ashwatthama in Nag Ashwin's Kalki 2898 AD.
Amitabh Bachchan in Karan Johar-backed Brahmastra (left) and as Ashwatthama in Nag Ashwin’s Kalki 2898 AD.

Kalki 2898 AD producer on what Prabhas said

Amitabh plays the character of Ashwatthama in Nag Ashwin’s Kalki 2898 AD, a film inspired by Hindu mythology set in a post-apocalyptic world. Ashwatthama was the son of Guru Dronacharya and Kripi, and a captivating figure in the Mahabharata because of his extraordinary birth, unwavering loyalty, and controversial actions.

Ashwini Dutt recently said, “Prabhas told me that Amitabh Bachchan is the first hero of Kalki 2898 AD. We should respect him, and that’s when we will be respected. He also mentioned that his dream came true when Kamal Haasan joined the project.”

A post about his statement was shared by a Redditor, who said, “I feel Brahmastra makers didn’t gave that respect to Amitabh. His role in Brahmastra may not be as prominent as Kalki 2898 AD but still ….”

‘They didn’t even mention him in the poster’

Many on Reddit seemed to agree. One wrote, “Amitabh was pretty much a Wiki page for the Astraverse sadly. It’s such an ageist trope, glad Kalki 2898 AD works against it. They also cast a dark Krishna and had so many badass women in the supporting roles. Pretty great strides.” A second said, “They didn’t even mention him in the poster. That’s why Amitabh didn’t promote the film.”

A third wrote, “They didn’t, if I am not wrong his name was mentioned in the credits after not just Ranbir Kapoor but also after the likes of Alia Bhatt, this isn’t how you treat a legend like Amitabh Bachchan as simple as that. Karan Johar really lacks this basic sense, he tried to sell a 450 crore magnum opus franchise on the ‘chemistry’ of Ranbir-Alia’s pairing, a film that should have been more about Amitabh and Ranbir’s mentor-mentee relationship, considering it was supposed to be a trilogy and that was the first part.”

Amitabh Bachchan in Kalki 2898 AD
Amitabh Bachchan in Kalki 2898 AD

‘It does feel like there was disrespect towards him’

Someone commented, “Even Amitabh’s role was a snooze fest. Made no sense. They really could have written the entire movie and his part better. It was such a good concept but such bad execution.” A person also said, “Yeah now that I go back and think of it the makers of Brahmastra should have credited Amitabh Bachchan in-front of stars like Ranbir, Alia. He’s a LEGEND, it does feel like there was disrespect towards him by crediting him after them.”

Many praised Prabhas for his comment about the veteran actor. One wrote, “This speaks volumes about Prabhas!!!!” Another said, “The fact that Prabhas took anti hero/antagonist role for this movie is not what I expected, but a welcoming surprise.”

More about Brahmastra

Backed by Karan Johar and directed by Ayan Mukerji, Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva served as the first instalment of a planned trilogy, which is itself planned to be part of a cinematic universe titled Astraverse, and featured an ensemble cast including Amitabh, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, and Mouni Roy with Nagarjuna, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone appearing in cameo roles. 

Amitabh was as Raghu aka ‘Guruji’, the guru of Brahmansh, who is also the leader and wields the Prabhastra in Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva. Ranbir was seen as Shiva, Amrita and Dev’s son and newly-recruited member of the Brahmānsh, who possesses the Agniastra (the astra of fire) within himself.

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