New Delhi: While Padmavati’s Rs180 crore budget may still be raising eyebrows, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period drama has already taken the first few steps to garnering the widest release possible worldwide. Hollywood studio Paramount Pictures has come on board to distribute the film internationally.

Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, Padmavati is based on the fictional tale of a Rajput princess written by 16th century Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi and recounts the story of her husband Maharawal Ratan Singh, a Rajput ruler and warrior king, and Sultan Alauddin Khilji, an ambitious invader who pursued Padmavati obsessively.

“This is a first ever collaboration of this kind with Paramount Pictures releasing a Viacom18 Hindi feature across international markets," said Ajit Andhare, chief operating officer, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, in a statement.

Viacom18 has co-produced Padmavati along with Bhansali. “We are breaking new ground with Padmavati, its marketing and release strategy. With Paramount coming on board, we will take the film to a whole new level globally."

Paramount Pictures International and Viacom18 have had a strategic international alliance for the distribution of the former’s movies in India and the Indian subcontinent markets since 2011. Viacom18 is a joint venture between Viacom Inc. and Network18 Media & Investments Ltd, also owned by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Viacom18 Motion Pictures on this exciting new release. Padmavati has all the makings of a hit film and we are excited to bring Sanjay’s incredible vision to audiences across the international market place," said Megan Colligan, spokesperson, Paramount Pictures, in a statement.

On Tuesday, the makers released a 3D trailer of the period saga, further upping the curiosity around it.

The Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed film has been in the news from the very outset. In January, members of the Rajput Karni Sena stormed and vandalized the sets of the film in Rajasthan, alleging that it was distorting historical facts.

In a bid to already recoup the massive budget, the makers have sold the digital streaming rights of the film to American platform Amazon Prime Video for around Rs20-25 crore, Mint had reported earlier. It is scheduled for release on 1 December.

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