Apu, the iconic character from Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956) and The World of Apu (1959) – collectively known as the Apu trilogy – is returning to the big screen.

Apu’s journey will be taken forward in the Bengali period drama Avijatrik (The Wanderlust of Apu), which will be presented by Bollywood filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar and directed by Subhrajit Mitra, the makers announced on Friday. Ray’s films were an adaptation of Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay’s novels Pather Panchali and Aparajito.

The new film will draw from the concluding part of Aparajito. “The plot takes off from where The Apu Trilogy had ended in 1959, with Apur Sansar [The World of Apu],” the statement read. “Avijatrik focuses on the wanderlust of the main protagonist and the story of a sublime bond between a father and a son. The story is of Apu and his six-year-old son Kajol.”

The film will be shot in black and white to “retain the rich aesthetic flavour” of 1940s India, the press release added. It will have new characters, including Lila, who was not part of the trilogy but was a major character in the novel. “Another addition would be the introduction of Apu’s adventurer friend who was also part of the book and who will be an integral part of Apu and Kajol’s life,” the press release added.

Bhandarkar said that he was happy to be associated with the project. “As a director and a film buff, I have been a great admirer and fan of Satyajit Ray and the journey of Apu always fascinated me,” he said. “I have known Gaurang Jalan who is co-presenting the film with me, for over a decade now, and hope this will be a visual treat to all film lovers globally, including the Bengali diaspora.”

Pather Panchali (1955).