A lot of people, including pim, ask me when Buddha is going to be made,

Buddha is one of those films that has it’s own Destiny, and I found I could not push it along. I just need to let it happen. Just let it go, for it to form itself organically. I tried very hard to make it happen, but then found that in trying hard, in pushing it, I was becoming the biggest obstacle.
I had started developing Buddha not as a script, but as a visual treatment, with music. I wanted to see if I could tell the story of Buddha without words. After all words cannot explain the concept of the infinite, can they ?
But yesterday I was showoing the DVD to Cate Blanchette, and she remarked that the story I was trying to tell in Buddha was so similar to the story I was trying to tell in Golden Age ! So it is true that all directors have only one story to tell. But why not ? The most relevant story I have right now is that which reveberates in my spirit at the moment. Why deny it ? Why not embrace it and keep searching your search in whatever you do, even in your own films ?

71 thoughts on “Buddha

  1. Yes Shekhar, it is “the story” which is yearning to release itself from each of us…I have a feeling it is the same conclusion for all of us in the infinite flow, and how we all express and interpret those stories which ALL come from the same “Author” …is just sooooo mind boggling and mysterious!
    You do it so well!
    Cinda 🙂

  2. just let go…mmmmaahhhhhh
    and watch the seed grow, you are the perfect soil~sunlight~water and energy for this

  3. Shekhar:
    Noticed that you kept spelling Cate’s last name as ‘Blanchette’. It’s actually ‘Blanchett’ without the ‘e’. Sorry, certainly didn’t intend to be rude. I am just a big fan of hers. I am also a big fan of your work 🙂

  4. Thank you very much for the update, i feel honored!! This movie will be great like all your movies. Im so happy that you decided to continue with this project.

  5. Dear Shekhar
    I hope that Buddha comes to be at last. I was thrilled to read (elsewhere, the other day) that Rahman had been involved with the music. The story of Buddha, your direction, the visuals, which if they are like the still you posted in your Budhha section, must be spectacular, and Rahman’s music. What can I say, other than I hope this comes to be.
    love, Heath
    p.s., Andrew, thanks for the correction on Cate’s surname — I’d also been misspelling it everywhere.

  6. Yesterday i was reading a interview with Deepak Chopra on the site of WHAT THE BLEEP DO WHE KNOW. I was shocked when i read that BUDDHA will be a commercial flick, without any artistic value. He said that Mister Kapur and himself wanted to juice it up with allot of sex and violence. And this movie is aimed at the retarded people who will think that enlightenment is something COOL(teens). I am really dissapointed. It is sad that whe can say that in this day and age art is really death. I had never expected such a movie because you mister Kapur always spoke so poetically about it on this site. Your own vision on this project and subject is welcome but this just seems to be made with dissrespect for the Blessed one. Martin Scorcesse made THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST and while he was not treu to the gospels, (in fact it was a work of fiction), he made a artistic and respectfull piece of cinema. So this is a example of a Film that can hold a personall ARTISTIC vision but is still respectfull. Gotama was never a violent man, not even when he was a common human being, he was horrified with violence and compared it to struggling fish on dry land. Deepak also mentioned the struggle with Mara, wich will be the main focuss in the film, so i understand that again (like in little Buddha) this movie will make the mistake to portray Mara much to literately, Mara is a symbol for desire and thus death. I should add that Mara is a poetic symbol not fitted for a movie in my opinion. This project had the potential to become something more, something great, something that could inspire people. But like always, this will be made for the money by people who clearly have no heart for the subject. If im wrong, i should not be blamed. Blame Deepak for misspresenting this movie, i already feared for this movie when i saw that he had written the script. If im right, be ashamed. I mean no dissrespect, you always were a good filmmaker but this seems like a big mistake.
    Thanks fore the update, and best wishes.

  7. Pim, Buddha is the story of a young man in conflict with himself. All of us are. Inside Siddhartha there are his two apects, his Destiny as represented by his anguished search for the meaning of desire, and on the other hand Mara is the Devil that resides in all of us that represents Desire. The great trickster that our minds and our ego are. Like all of us, Siddhartha also had the battle the Mara in us. Mara is both the personal and the universal Demon. But of course Siddhartha overcame Mara to become the Buddha.
    Regarding Deepak’s interview, remember that the idea of the film is to take the message of Buddhism or the message of consciousness to everyone, especially to young people all over the world. In order to do that, the film has to appeal, and our job is to be able to that without losing any of the ideas propogated by the Buddhist Philosophy.

  8. Dear mister Kapur
    Thank you for explaining a bit. The way you explain it sounds much more respectfull than when Deepak Chopra did it in that interview. And afterall, you are the director so maybe it will be as good as i first thought. It should be appealing to young people, i agree, this could be done artistically ofcourse. Maybe this is what you were planning to do, but Chopra did not make it sound that way. I will just have to wait and see. your friendly explanation sure helped me to have some faith in this movie again.
    Best wishes 🙂

  9. how would you portray vedanta and hinduism?
    as something at odds with gauthams thinking or something inclusive and influential and at the heart of thinking?

  10. Dear Mr. Kapur:
    I am confused as to whether or not you are releasing the Buddha movie soon? Some articles have said 2006. Is it animated or live action? Thank you for your attention.

  11. dear suresh kumar, the way i am planning if it is in my destiny, to the film as series of evovative questions. So that the audience are encouraged to explore. I ca only get them interested, evokek and emotionally responsive. I can get them to identify with the life of Biddha with their own lives. I have no answers though, so how can me definite about anything I say ? I am not the Buddha. love, shekhar

  12. Hi, I think this is an auspicious time for a Buddha-film. Personally, I hope it just shows a minimum amount of reverence for the Buddha and not turns out another “feel-good” flick.
    Wish you the best in your endeavour..

  13. Stories can always be same…Interpretations and Presentations vary. The genius of a film-maker lies in successfully reinventing and reinterpreting his own thoughts and presenting themina convincing manner, with very few compromises and ot of conviction.But as you said, the bottomline of any passionate artist(or film-maker) is the quest for oneself…and the Purpose.

  14. ‘since the appearence of a tathagata~a buddha,
    faith in his teachings,a precious human body,
    and a suitable basis for practising dharma are so rare,
    when will an opportunity like this arise again?’
    shantideva ~ guide to the bodhisattva’s way of life.

  15. Dear shekar sir, I have saw a add in news paper that Budda film need a actor. I would like to act in your movie. pls give me a chance.

  16. Great project.
    But…pleeease…most respectfully,no Brad Pitt ,or someone “like that”,on Buddha.In my opinion,it would be a big mistake.
    Best wishes.

  17. Dear Shekhar,
    I am from Bangkok and read about this just today on the online edition of a local newspaper. As you know, Thailand is a Buddhist country, and I, though born a Sikh, have in the past 8 to 9 years grown to become keenly interested in the Buddha’s Teachings. So much so that nothing outside this subject interests me as a source of knowledge and understanding.
    In the article, it was mentioned that Mr. Modhi who is the one to initiate this project was inspired by the writings of Thich Nhat Hahn. Though I am happy that a film on the Buddha’s life is being made by you Shekhar of all the possible choices, I am somewhat concerned about the fact of Thich Nhat Hahn’s book being the source of the plot.
    Of course this is only me and my perspective and I have no expectations with regard to changing anything. But in my mind I have always considered the subject of Buddha a most difficult one to make a film out of. And by the way, I am quite a film buff, having acquired (on pirated DVDs) about 600 of the best films ranging from “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and “Potemkin” to the films of David Lynch and Woody Allen.
    The difficulty as I see it, is in the fact that the Buddha’s way is against the stream of the attachment, which is basically the ‘way of the world’. So a faithful rendering of his life story keeping in mind the message he wanted to pass on, would not in fact inspire much sense of “Drama”. But this is not a problem, and being a person who *loves* a good film, I surely would like to see some dramatic scenes in the film.
    My problem is the *understanding* one might get from reading such authors as Thich Nhat Hahn or even the Dalai Lama. I come from the Theravada perspective, which is said to have attempted to stick to the “original” intention of the Buddha.
    I would therefore recommend that you take into account one other book, namely “The Life of Buddha” by Bhikkhu Nanamoli. If you don’t have it, I could send it to you.
    No one can imitate the Buddha’s mannerism and facial expressions. Please take this into consideration when you make your choice of the actor. Actually, this should also apply to all his well known diciples, don’t forget Ananda of course. 😉

  18. Dear mister Kapur,
    I understand that you are no longer involved in making Buddha. Is this treu?

  19. Dear Mr Kapur,
    My name is Rajeev Vinaik, 38/39, and as well as being a trained actor I have seen ONE OF THE MOST PAINFUL LIVES EVER. I am a deeply contemplative person, I have had to be for what I have survived. I exude charisma and hope. I think, if you are looking for an unknown – that I would be perfect.

  20. If you have conceived an idea to make Buddha, its great.If you have dropped the idea, there could be no greater foolishness or loss, both for you and for the rest of the world.

  21. hi shekar
    iam hearing that ur making budha for a long time, i think its truely great subject, and i do understand it takes a lot of time to put into proper research(i thin i can expect it from u, esp after bandit queen)
    though i am an architect and a project manager, i had a deep desire of directing, planning to join some one like you as an assistant…….if you need one, just let me know……if it happens to be for budha, i would feel elated……
    any how all the best, hope to see budha soon…. :))

  22. I am EAGERLY waiting for Buddha to come to realisation (pun intended). Oh speaking of Buddha have you ever thought of making a movie on Krishnamurti, if not then you must (otherwise I will 🙂
    Krishnamurti was the messiah which the world (regretably) failed to acknowledge and the world will acknowledge after a few centuries. It is one of the biggest mysteries that K came to this planet and nobody noticed, we did, but did we??
    Interestingly K was offered the role to play Buddha in a hollywood biopic some 60-70 years back by Grandfather of Drew Barrymore. Ofcourse he refused but it would have the greatest film ever, where Buddha would have played himself.

  23. One of the people posting here is concerned about Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Old Path, White Clouds being used as the basis for this film. I hope he has a chance to read this book – it is a masterpiece and completely faithful to the canon. It is the ideal choice.
    On the other hand, I was quite alarmed when I read that Depok Chopra would be writing the screen-play. I do not see his work as being in alignment with Buddhist teachings. My greatest fear with this movie is that it will take the Buddha’s story but paint it with Hindu, New Age, or modern secularism strokes.
    The BuddhaDharma is unique, but in some people’s efforts to make it palitable to other religions (or to their own way of thinking) often times gloss over the true philosophy of Buddhism in favor of the mystical “unity with Spirit” kind of idea. Instead, people could learn that there is a religion and philosophy out there that does not depend on external God/gods/spirits and the like for finding the deepest peace.
    I do wish you all the luck in the world with this project, and I’ll be following it’s progress.
    Thank you

  24. Mr Kapur,
    While going through the comments the storyline for Buddha sounds more like Hermann Hesse book ‘Siddhartha’ ….is the movie based on that?
    I am sure you would have come across this book Siddhartha; an exellent read.

  25. Hi Shekar,
    I can already see that your film is going to heal the lives of millions. May those suffering find the strength and will forever, after watching ‘Buddha the film’. I am sure that, at the moment, the Mara inside you is actively trying to persuade you not to make the film, but I, a simple fool, say that you must not give up easily so rare and priceless a human action. You have been a winner most of the time. You must win this time too. Remember, this film will be viewed not only in the planet earth by human beings, but by the Buddha himself and all the dakas and dakinis in the land of ultimate bliss? Good luck.

  26. Dear Shekhar ,
    Am interested in the fate of your Buddha film . Is it still on ? Will appreciate your reply . Thanks

  27. Dear Sekhar,
    I felt why there is no movie on Buddha which can reach the common people today. After reading the news about your movie I was really excited. The teachings of The Buddha are profound and has deeper meanings about life. It guides people to live a peaceful and happy life. Most of the humanity is under stress, depression and living a mechanical life.
    Please try to make this film, you will definetely accumulate good karma as this movie will ignite the hidden buddha nature in everyone, I am sure at least few people can find thier path to liberation.
    Many Thanks
    Love and Kindness,

  28. Dear Mr. Kapur,
    Old Path, White Clouds is such a beautiful book I wanted to make of it a film on finishing the book. I was delighted that someone else had taken this on. The world and especially America badly needs an amazing film about the Buddha, as we are on the verge of an unprecendented environmental crisis and Americans seem unwilling to give up their comfort to keep the human race from massive suffering. Deepak Chopra’s interview about the film on “What the bleep” is concerning to say the least. Thich Nhat Hanh watched his students be killed, and was exiled from his country because he wanted peace, only to help the American servicemen who had bombed his countymen. That is what the Buddha did to Hahn. Hopefully Mr. Chopra can touch his own Buddha nature and make the film be the Buddah, much as the Buddha lives on in Thich Nhat Hanh. We need the Buddha badly now and both Hanh and the Buddha deserve to be treated with the utmost respect. Any way to write to Mr. Chopra?
    Will Hurd

  29. Dear Mr. Kapur,
    Before you stated about trying to create a story that has mass appeal while retaining the philosophy and values of the Buddha. I am wondering if a modern recreation of his story would be applicable? A story like Herman Hesse’s Siddartha, but in modern times. Such a story would be very similar to my own life story as i went from a Southern California privelaged life, to a life of self discovery in India, and a struggle to find the balance between such contrasting lifestyles/values. I am not sure what came over me to suggest this, as I am sure that you have your own vision and story for this film, but for some reason i felt that this suggestion would be the cause something good.
    Thank you,

  30. yes valmiki, I wrote a story about 20 years ago about a succesful man in NY that starts to discover that he is not who he thinks he is, and resists the illogical world till there is no escape. When I was offered Buddha, I tried to convince the producers to allow me to do that film, but they wanted to do the traditional buddha. shekhar

    thumbs up from me.all the best.dont wait.pulse will leave u.if not then,u’ll lose the vibrations.and there’s lot to be done Sir. way to go.ur the best.i am sure u can sustain these vibrations without loosing the energy. may be wait for the right time.BOL.

  32. Making a film out of Buddha,s life means showing us the way of live he lived. he lived a life which starts from temporal happiness,at middle walk the path of systametic mind training and culminates in the state of everlasting happiness. The film should reflect these in its essence.

  33. the only thing i can say is FINALLY. and im really anxious about how this movie will turn out in the end. But im thinking that the director of this movie really understands the enormous responseility, and will push themshelf and others over the edge to make it right.but again im kind of scared that the director will only focus on what the audience wants, witch is bad becuse it could destroy its unicness,i mean the story about buddha is unic, and all though the young audience is the largest. dont let this movie that so many are waiting for be turned into another hollywood like movie. only intended for young viewers. remember, think about it like this, the one who never gives up always wins in one way or another.and thats how this movie dosnt need any extra elements like more drama and action,just let it go its own path not the usual one.

  34. Mr.Kapur,
    Perhaps I saw you quite late,that you look actors for image to Buddha,but I decided to write you.
    I am from Bulgaria.I live in little town.I descend from romanis etnic grupe./Mine english is not very good.Excuse me,please!/
    I am very green and untrained in the moovies art,but I think, that main desire and main sensitivity, will help me to reincarnate in image to Gwathamma Buddha.
    If you have time and possibility to write me your answer and still I have shanse to apply for this role, I will send you main photos and I will tell you more for main self.
    in respect: Ramar

  35. Mr. Kapur,
    I am from Bulgaria.I descent from romanis minority people./Main english is very bad,excuse me,please!/
    I would like to be acter and I think that I can cope with image to Gautama Buddha, if is not late…
    I am very green and untrained in the movies art,but I think that main desire and main sensitivty will help me…
    If You have time and possibility to write me Your answer, I will send You main photos and I will tell You more for my self.
    by respect: T.R

  36. Mr.Kapur,
    I thougt, that my lettre did not arrive to You,
    and I am wrote secondly.
    “The patience is GOLD.” – OK! I am manifested impatience. I will take a lesson…The”karma” decide this…
    I am thought, that this is my shase in life,that I am awaited very time…
    I am read anywhere,that on will there are competition to role to Lord Buddha for Your future film.
    I am studyed “direct” in Akademy.I like to rise very good director and I have some documentary films for my ethnic group.My nation is come from India before 1000 years ago.Now there are minority people in Balkans and in Europe.Many legends there are for them./But there is another film,and maybe in future I will seek for help movies experts with east-philosophifical mind like you for making film,when I will heap experience./
    Before 6 years my teachers in Akademy are told me,that I shuld use my eyes in movies,but I did not want to actor,but I am wanted to be only director…
    Now I don’t think in this way.
    Now I know the life to Prince Sidharta and I think ,that as if I comprehend Him very well…
    again in respect: Tossan Ramar

  37. Dear Mr. Kapur,
    Are you still in pre-production?
    If you are still looking for a professional actor as Buddha, I would be glad to live up to your (and my own) expectations; you will find in me the willingness to go beyond all limits as an actor: if I have to play an ascetic, I become one first, in private life. If I have to play Buddha, I become one first.
    As a five-year old, I wished to become two things: a saint, and an actor. My mother still remembers me saying both.
    Twenty three years later, I don’t presume to become a saint any longer. The “I” that wished to become a saint doesn’t exist, anatman. Rather, the personality is in ephemeral in nature, and can be adapted to play this role.
    Thank you for your time and efforts to produce this movie.

  38. Oh God, shekar, I can do the buddha thing more better, not as Buddha in the movie, but I am a great fan of OSHO….and Humanity is looking for such kind of a movies, but we still need words but I know no words can do justice, but we need words.

  39. Dear Shekhar Kapoor,
    Congrets for touch most powerful subject “The Budhdha”.But it is not easy as much as ‘bendit quin’.I think you must refer osho sahitya for know about Budhdha.I m sure that no one personalities who knows more than osho about “B”
    Please express your comments.

  40. Its greatest hardship done………I NOT ABLE TO UNDERSTAND WHY GOOD THINGS ARE ALWAYS LATE………..Ican only say INDIA must discover its history for its progress.

  41. namestay shekhar sir.its very obvious u are not familiar with me,but u are ofcource very well known to every one.i am glad that i am born in this generation where a masterpeice human like you exist,from childhood i am extreme die hard fan of yours,still i remember when i saw mr. india i was upto the sky after watching the movie.Me and my friends always used to say only one slogan”hey mougambo”.I took me at least 5 years to become adult and then i was able to watch bandit queen for which i was extremly waiting, because when it was released i was only 14.You made me proud and ofcoure to all indians after the movie “ELIZABETH” went for the oscar and ofcourse it achieved, that was the day i couldn’t forget and i don’t have words to explain about “FOUR FEATHERS”,that was mind blowing.
    As i am student doing my BE hope for ur better future and ofcourse ur better film carrer.
    Still now waiting for ur “PAANI” and”BUDDHA”.
    with best wishes- NALIN SINGH

  42. “Common folk, not statesmen, nor generals nor great men of affairs, but just simple plain men and women, can do something to build a better, peaceful world. The future hope of peace lies with such personal service.”
    Henry Cadbury upon accepting Nobel Peace Prize
    Trust me sir, I can assist you a great deal in the direction of “Buddha”. 🙂

  43. wow.. its really good news..!
    actually i really excited to see that news..!
    i like shekhar sir’s all film..! wahen i see that you make film on “LORD BUDDHA” then i was really exicited.
    actually its my request to you sir..that plzz take A smart, intelliegent, good to see, n more like match of buddha’s phptograph of indian..!
    shekhar sir,
    i have an more information about lord buddha..their life..their small things their photographs..their people..all n all ! its my pleasure to help you sir..!
    if you want any information please contact me sir..i will definitely with you any time. its my pleasure..1 please give me chance to give you a real information about LORD BUDDHA..!
    waiting for ur reply sir..!

  44. Wow !!! Can you enlighten us where is this image from ?I takes me to my happy place .I feel so much of hope looking at it . It would be really really interesting to watch when your film is completed.

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