Kalki 2898 AD Release and Review: Prabhas’ Fans Celebrate with Crackers in Hyderabad, Bengaluru Theatres

Kalki 2898 AD (pronounced [Kalki]) is a groundbreaking 2024 Indian epic dystopian science fiction action film directed by Nag Ashwin and produced by C. Aswani Dutt under Vyjayanthi Movies. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Prabhas (in dual roles), Deepika Padukone, and Kamal Haasan. As the first installment of the ambitious Kalki Cinematic Universe, it takes inspiration from Hindu scriptures and is set in a post-apocalyptic world in the year 2898 AD. The story follows a select group on a mission to save Kalki, the unborn child of SUM-80, a lab subject.

First announced in February 2020, Kalki 2898 AD faced significant delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Production finally kicked off in July 2021 at a futuristic set at Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad. Filming proceeded intermittently over the next three years, wrapping up in March 2024. With a staggering production budget of ₹600 crore (US$72 million), it stands as the most expensive Indian film to date. Santhosh Narayanan scored the music, Djordje Stojiljkovic handled cinematography, Nitin Zihani Choudhary took charge of production design, and Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao managed editing.

Kalki 2898 AD premiered worldwide on June 27, 2024, in various formats, including standard, IMAX, and 3D.


In the year 2898 AD, Kasi, now a desertified city, stands as humanity’s last bastion.Ruled by the totalitarian elite under Supreme Yaskin, who commands from the hovering inverted-pyramidal megastructure known as the “Complex,” the city stands as a stark contrast to its ancient roots in Indian Hindu mythology. Spanning millennia, the narrative unfolds with the events of the Mahabharata in 3102 BC, gradually transitioning to the dystopian society of 2898 AD. At the heart of the tale lies the prophecy of Kalki, the tenth and final avatar of Vishnu, whose imminent arrival symbolizes hope amidst the prevailing chaos.


  • Prabhas portrays dual roles:
  • Bhairava, a skilled bounty hunter navigating the city’s treacherous underbelly
  • Karna, a figure from ancient legend whose path intersects with the present dystopia
  • Amitabh Bachchan brings to life Ashwatthama, a legendary character intertwined with immortality and vengeance
  • Kamal Haasan embodies Supreme Yaskin, the enigmatic ruler worshipped as a god within the Complex
  • Deepika Padukone plays SUM-80, also known as Sumathi, a pregnant lab subject pivotal in the prophecy surrounding Kalki’s birth
  • Disha Patani portrays Roxie, a mysterious figure with her own agenda in the struggle for survival
  • Rajendra Prasad, Shobhana, Saswata Chatterjee, and Brahmanandam add depth to the ensemble cast with their respective roles
  • Pasupathy and Anna Ben depict Veeran and Kyra, rebels from the mythical city of Shambhala, pivotal in challenging Yaskin’s reign
  • Malvika Nair and Harshith Malgireddy contribute to the narrative as Uttarā and other supporting characters
  • Keerthy Suresh lends her voice to BU-JZ-1, also known as Bujji, Bhairava’s indispensable AI companion navigating the dangerous landscape

Cameo Appearances

The film also features notable cameo appearances, adding further intrigue to its ensemble:

  • Vijay Deverakonda appears as Arjuna, a pivotal figure from ancient lore.
  • Mrunal Thakur portrays Divya, a character intertwined with the unfolding prophecy.
  • Dulquer Salmaan plays Bhairava’s guardian, offering guidance amidst turmoil.
  • S. S. Rajamouli takes on the role of a bounty hunter and Bhairava’s formidable rival.
  • Ram Gopal Varma makes a special appearance, adding his unique presence to the narrative.
  • K. V. Anudeep showcases his talent as a dancer within the Complex, enhancing the film’s visual and cultural depth.
  • Srinivas Avasarala appears as Bhairava’s proposed buyer, adding an unexpected twist to the protagonist’s journey.



Kalki 2898 AD marks the first collaboration between Prabhas and Nag Ashwin. Following the critical acclaim of Mahanati in 2019, Nag Ashwin expressed his long-held ambition to develop an original story and screenplay, laying the groundwork for this ambitious project. Vyjayanthi Movies announced the commencement of production in September, calling for visual artists, designers, and writers to join the team.

On February 26, 2020, coinciding with their 50th anniversary, the studio revealed Prabhas as the lead actor, solidifying his integral role in the film. Initially known as #PrabhasNagAshwin and #Prabhas21, director Nag Ashwin aimed for filming to begin by late 2020 with a multi-lingual release targeted for late 2021. However, producer C. Aswani Dutt adjusted the schedule, confirming filming would start in October of that year, with a planned release in 2022.

The title Kalki 2898 AD draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, specifically Kalki, the final avatar of Vishnu according to the Bhagavata Purana. Set against the backdrop of Kali Yuga, which began in 3102 BC following the Mahabharata War, the film is positioned 6,000 years into this era, characterized by the reign of the demon Kali.


In July 2020, Hindi film actress Deepika Padukone was signed to play the lead role opposite Prabhas in Kalki 2898 AD. Padukone expressed her excitement, stating she was “beyond thrilled” to join the production. Director Nag Ashwin hinted that her character would bring a unique surprise, unlike anything a mainstream lead has tackled before. This marks Padukone’s second venture into Telugu cinema, following her unreleased film Love 4 Ever (2018). Initial reports suggested her role was minor, but it was expanded to suit her star power as production progressed.

In October, Amitabh Bachchan joined the cast in a significant role. Director Nag Ashwin emphasized the importance of Bachchan’s character, revealing that it had initially served as the working title for an early draft of the script. This marks Bachchan’s first full-length role in a Telugu film, following his cameo appearances in Manam (2014) and Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy (2019).

In May 2022, Disha Patani joined the cast, marking her return to Telugu cinema after her debut in Loafer (2015). Her role is anticipated to add depth to the ensemble.

June 2023 saw the addition of Kamal Haasan to the cast, marking his return to Telugu cinema since Cheekati Rajyam (2015). Haasan described his role as a cameo appearance, hinting at an intriguing contribution to the narrative.

By August 2023, speculation surrounded Dulquer Salmaan’s involvement, though the actor neither confirmed nor denied his role after visiting the film’s sets.

In February 2024, Anna Ben joined the cast, making her debut in Telugu cinema, promising to bring a fresh perspective to the film’s ensemble cast.


Dubbed as “Project K,” the initial working title of Kalki 2898 AD underscored its ambitious scope. Director Nag Ashwin emphasized the necessity for cutting-edge technology and futuristic vehicles integral to the film’s narrative. While CGI could replicate these elements, Ashwin sought authenticity and opted to fabricate the vehicles from scratch with a specialized team of engineers, aiming for a genuine cinematic experience. By March 2022, Ashwin reached out to businessman Anand Mahindra, requesting technical support for this endeavor.

Shortly thereafter, Mahindra & Mahindra committed their resources, collaborating from their Mahindra Research Valley campus in Chennai to assist in the production. In July 2021, the production team erected an expansive futuristic set at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad, set to host a significant portion of the filming.

In August 2020, initial efforts to secure A. R. Rahman as the music composer for the film did not materialize. Director Ashwin then retained key personnel from his previous success Mahanati (2018), including composer Mickey J. Meyer and cinematographer Dani Sanchez-Lopez. However, Serbian cinematographer Djordje Stojiljkovic eventually replaced Sanchez-Lopez, assuming the role of the film’s official cinematographer.

By February 2023, producer C. Aswani Dutt announced Santhosh Narayanan as the composer. Additionally, a female Bollywood composer was enlisted to contribute a song for the film. Renowned filmmaker Singeetam Srinivasa Rao also joined the project as a mentor, thereby enriching the creative team with his vast expertise.

Kalki 2898 AD set a new benchmark with an estimated budget of ₹600 crore, positioning it as the most expensive Indian film ever produced.


Initially scheduled to commence regular shooting in November 2020, Kalki 2898 AD faced delays due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing the start to the following year. Principal photography finally began in Hyderabad in July 2021, coinciding with Guru Purnima. The inaugural shot featured Amitabh Bachchan, marking the start of an intensive filming schedule. Joining the production in December 2021, Prabhas and Deepika Padukone contributed to pivotal scenes alongside Bachchan. Subsequent shoots in February 2022 ensured steady progress.

Rather than filming continuously, the production team adopted a staggered approach, dividing the 80–90 day shoot into 7–8-day sessions each month. This allowed meticulous preparation of gadgets and props integral to the film’s futuristic setting, contributing to a prolonged production timeline.[65] The film utilized the DIY Arri Alexa 65 camera, a pioneering choice for Indian cinema, enhancing visual fidelity.

Kalki 2898 AD

Prabhas was slated to film his solo sequences starting April 2022; however, delays ensued due to a knee surgery, affecting his commitments across multiple projects including Salaar and Kalki 2898 AD. Approximately 90% of filming took place at meticulously crafted sets within Ramoji Film City by the end of this phase. In subsequent months, Amitabh Bachchan filmed a scene at Raidurg metro station in June. This was followed by a high-octane car chase sequence in July, involving Padukone and Prabhas, set against Hyderabad’s urban backdrop. Prabhas wrapped up a significant portion of his scenes by the conclusion of this schedule.

Kalki 2898 AD

Originally projected for completion by January 2023, principal photography extended into March 2023 following an injury to Bachchan, who was advised rest in Mumbai after sustaining rib injuries.By June 2023, approximately 70% of filming was complete, with additional reshoots scheduled to enhance key sequences. Director Nag Ashwin revealed at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2023 that specific scenes were undergoing reshoots in Hindi to maximize their impact alongside the original Telugu version. Highlighting this effort, a romantic sequence featuring Prabhas and Disha Patani was captured in Italy in March 2024, incorporating scenes at the Royal Palace of Caserta.


The film enlisted visual effects expertise from Prime Focus DNEG, The Embassy Visual Effects, and other studios, such as Stealth Works Taiwan, Folks VFX, Lola Visual Effects, Pixstone Images, and Labyrinth. Spearheaded by DNEG and The Embassy, these studios crafted dynamic environments and action sequences, ensuring a visually immersive experience.They undertook the challenge of depicting diverse settings such as the desert wasteland, high-speed futuristic vehicles, and three distinct worlds: Kasi, Shambhala, and the Complex.


Santhosh Narayanan composed the music for Kalki 2898 AD, with audio rights acquired by Saregama. The soundtrack featured notable tracks such as “Bhairava Anthem” and “Theme of Kalki”, released to acclaim ahead of the film’s premiere.


The promotional campaign for Kalki 2898 AD commenced with the film’s first look unveiling in July 2023, followed by a historic presentation at San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall-H the next day, marking a significant milestone for Indian cinema. Further teasers and posters, including character reveals and thematic trailers, built anticipation leading up to its eventual release on 27 June 2024. The film debuted across multiple languages including Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and English, presented in formats ranging from 3D and IMAX to HFR and Dolby Vision.

Theatrical Release

Initially targeted for a 2022 debut and later rescheduled to January 2024, Kalki 2898 AD faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing production challenges. Postponed again from early May 2024 to 27 June 2024, due to the 2024 Indian general election, the film experienced several setbacks before confirming its final release date.

Finally, on 27 June 2024, Kalki 2898 AD premiered globally in Telugu, Hindi, and dubbed versions in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and English, offering viewers a multilingual experience. The film was showcased in various formats including 3D, 4DX, IMAX, HFR, and Dolby Vision, ensuring an immersive cinematic presentation.


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