- Pushpa: The Rise – Part 01 is the first installment in the Pushpa film series.
- After the success of Rangasthalam (2018), Sukumar approached Mahesh Babu, with whom he had previously worked in 1: Nenokkadine (2014), and narrated a script. Babu liked the story and agreed to work on the project. The film, tentatively titled #SSMB26, was announced by Mythri Movie Makers in April 2019, marking their second collaboration with Babu and Sukumar. However, in March of the same year, Babu withdrew from the project citing creative differences. He instead signed his next project with Anil Ravipudi titled Sarileru Neekevvaru. Sukumar then approached Allu Arjun for his next film, marking their reunion after a decade since Arya 2 (2009). Mythri Movie Makers agreed to produce this new project.
- Sukamar narrated Babu a story based on red-sanders. However, once the project was shelved, he came up with a different storyline on red sanders for Allu Arjun. Speaking with Press Trust of India, Sukumar said: “with Mahesh Babu, I couldn’t make him cool. He is very fair. So, the backdrop was the same but the story is different.”
- Since most of the film takes place in a rural backdrop, Allu Arjun was reported to master Chittoor accent for the film, and the makers hired a team from Bollywood to work on his look.
- Vijay Sethupathi entered talks to play the antagonist in October 2019, however, in July 2020, Sethupathi left the film citing scheduling conflicts. Post Sethupathi’s exit, Vikram, Bobby Simha, Madhavan, and Arya were reported to play negative roles in the film, but Malayalam actor Fahadh Faasil was announced as the film’s antagonist in March 2021, thus marking his debut in Telugu cinema.
- The film began its production in December 2019 but was halted in March 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming resumed in November 2020 and ended in November 2021, predominantly taking place at the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad and Maredumilli forest in Andhra Pradesh.
- The film’s title Pushpa was officially announced on 8 April 2020, on the occasion of Allu Arjun’s birthday and a poster was also released.
- The dubbing works of the film have begun in April 2021. Ten days before the release of the film, Shreyas Talpade confirmed that he has dubbed for Allu Arjun of the film’s Hindi version. Jis Joy who has dubbed for Arjun’s previous films in Malayalam, has been signed to voice dub for Allu Arjun of the film’s Malayalam version.
- By the early-December 2021, he has completed his portions of dubbing. K. P. Sekar lent Allu Arjun’s voice for the film’s Tamil version.
- Fahadh Faasil has been dubbed for his role in all the languages, except Hindi which was dubbed by Rajesh Khattar.
- Pushpa: The Rise was released on 17 December 2021. Previously, the film was announced to release on 13 August 2021, coinciding with the Independence Day weekend. In May 2021, the makers announced that the film would be released in two parts, with the first part coming on the originally intended release date while the second installment will be arriving in 2023. The producers released a statement saying: “The storyline and the characters took on lives of their own and grew to a span that required the movie to be released in two parts”, with the title of the film’s first part was unveiled as Pushpa: The Rise – Part 1 in August 2021. Due to the surge in the COVID-19 pandemic, the film’s release was rescheduled to Christmas 2021. In October 2021, the makers announced the release date as 17 December 2021. It was simultaneously released in Telugu and dubbed versions in Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Hindi languages.
- Following the release, the makers deleted a controversial scene on fans’ demand. In the scene, Pushpa (played by Arjun) touches Srivalli’s (played by Mandanna) chest and has a conversation about it, and they felt it may not go well with the family audience. It is also reported that a few more scenes were cut to reduce its runtime.
- In later half of 2022, it got officially dubbed in Russian, the production company released a Russian-language trailer on YouTube on 29 November 2022 and the film will be released in theatres in Russia. The film was screened at the Moscow International Film Festival in 2022. It was screened in the category “Blockbuster hits from around the world”.
- Pushpa: The Rise received generally mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances (particularly of Allu Arjun, Sunil, and Fahadh Faasil), action choreography, cinematography, direction, dialogues, and soundtrack but criticised the runtime, writing, and editing.
- The film was commercially successful, grossing ₹350 crore (US$44 million)-₹373 crore (US$47 million) at the box office. It became the highest-grossing Indian film of 2021, and ranks among the highest-grossing Telugu films of all time.
- A sequel titled Pushpa 2: The Rule is under production and is scheduled to release in early 2024.
- On the request of fans who said that Pushpa deserves a second sequel like KGF, Sukumar said that “we are thinking to make a Part 3. We have the script, and if the producers liked [the script] then definitely there will be a third part [of Pushpa]”.
- Speaking to the media at a promotional event, Allu Arjun said that “We had about 400-500 cars in the forest that would take us from point A to B. In some places, there were no roads and we had to create a pathway with whatever was available. The filming itself took us almost two years, that is why I say this: the effort we had put in for Pushpa is equal to four films.”
- Sukumar and the makers were accused of copyright infringement by the writer Vempalli Gangadhar. In a Facebook post dated 27 August 2020, Gangadhar stated that the storyline which is based on red sandalwood smuggling, was plagiarised from his short story titled Tamil Coolie written for Sakshi newspaper which was published two years earlier.
- In December 2021, a lawsuit was filed at a court in Andhra Pradesh against a song in the film titled “Oo Antava Oo Oo Antava” men’s association. According to them, the song portrayed men as casanovas and eve-teasers as its lyrics seemingly mock the male gaze. They also asked for a ban on the song.
- Star India Network acquired the satellite rights of the film (except the Hindi version, which was acquired by Goldmines TV), while Amazon Prime Video acquired the digital rights. The film began streaming 21 days later through Amazon Prime Video on 7 January 2022, while the Hindi version began streaming from 14 January 2022.
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