Raavan is a Hindi language film directed by Mani Ratnam set to be released in 2009. It stars Vikram,Abhishek Bachchan,Aishwarya Rai,Govinda and Ravi Kishan in the Hindi version. It is also being made in simultaneously in Tamil as Ashokavanam with a slightly different cast.
Mani Ratnam is reportedly producing a present day version of the Indian epic Ramayana which tells the story of Rama, whose wife Sita is abducted by the demon (Rakshasa) king of Lanka, Ravana.Mani Ratnam had earlier directed Thalapathi which bore a close resemblance to the Mahabharata.
While details of the films are closely guarded and pictures from the film set are yet to be revealed there have been numerous reports and speculations on the casting of both the films.
It was earlier reported that Abhishek Bachchan was cast as the protagonist based on Rama and Vikram would be portraying the title character based on Ravana.More recent reports have Abhishek portraying the role of Ravana and Vikram playing Rama.There are conflicting reports on the role Vikram is playing in the Tamil Version Ashokavanam.While earlier sources report Vikram playing Rama and Prithviraj Sukumaran portraying Ravana,more recent speculations are that Vikram plays Ravana while Prithviraj is Rama.
Aishwarya Rai plays a contemporary Sita, appearing as an accomplished Carnatic Musician in both versions of Mani Ratnam's films.
Govinda plays a forest officer who takes Vikram's character through the forests in search of a wanted criminal.While it was earlier speculated that it was a contemporary version of Hanuman,Govinda refutes the claim.Karthik Muthuraman plays the character in Ashokavanam.
Ravi Kishan and Ajay Gehi are reported to play characters based on Ravana’s brothers Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana.Prabhu Ganesan plays the character of Vibhishana in Ashokavanam.