With a budget of $22m, Indian film Director Rajkumar Santoshi's version of Mahabharat is likely to be the most expensive Indian film ever made.

Although shooting is not scheduled to start until 2004, pre-production has been underway for some time. The sets started being built at Hyderabad's Ramoji Film City midway through 2001.

Indian Actors being considered for the key roles are Arjun Rampal (Arjun), Aishwarya Rai (Draupadi), Sunny Deol (Karna), Sanjay Dutt (Duryodhan), Ajay Devgan (Krishna) and Suniel Shetty (Bheema).

The film is based on the ancient Indian epic which was the subject of an 1989 mini-series directed by Peter Brook,

An Indian TV series based on the Mahabharat was made in 1988, co-directed by B.R. Chopra and Ravi Chopra.