Asoka is a 2001 Indian epic historical drama film directed and co-written by Santosh Sivan. It is a dramatised version of the early life of emperor Asoka, of the Maurya dynasty, who ruled most of the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century BCE. The film stars Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Ajith Kumar (in his Hindi debut and remains the only Hindi movie he has worked), Danny Denzongpa and Hrishita Bhatt. It was produced by Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and Radhika Sangoi. The screenplay was written by Santosh Sivan and Saket Chaudhary and the dialogue by Abbas Tyrewala. It was originally released as Ashoka The Great in India. The Tamil release title is Samrat Ashoka.