It’s well-known that Nandamuri Balakrishna was first offered ‘Simhadri’ by director B Gopal and story-writer Vijayendra Prasad. He rejected the film on a rather flimsy ground.
In his latest interview, Prasad recounted that the script first went to Balayya before it was pocketed by the Rajamouli-Jr NTR duo. But he didn’t give the exact reason why Balayya said no to ‘Simhadri’.
The actual reason was revealed by Paruchuri Gopalakrishna in a video clip in 2019. The story of ‘Simhadri’ belonged to the crime-and-punishment template. The villain commits a crime and the hero punishes him brutally. This had been done by Balayya before (read films like ‘Narasimha Naidu’). He felt that he would be boring the audience if he took up a similar template.
It’s another matter that Rajamouli might have convinced him if he had narrated the story with a new vision. ‘Simhadri’ had the screenplay by Rajamouli. Jr NTR was oh-so-lucky Rajamouli wrote it!