Santa Maria is the title of actor Babu Antony’s upcoming Malayalam film. The film’s title poster was released on social media by several members of the Malayalam film industry, including actor Prithviraj Sukumaran, on Sunday. 

Speaking to Silverscreen India, ad filmmaker-turned-director Vinu Vijay, who marks his film debut with Santa Maria, says it will be a crime thriller.

“The film follows a series of murders that take place during the week from Christmas to New Year’s Day,” he explains. “The story unfolds with the investigation conducted by a crime journalist, played by Babu Antony. He is involved in a sting operation to crack the case. Irshad Ali plays the role of a cop who is also part of the police investigation. The film will have twists and turns to keep the audience engaged till the end.”

The film’s script is written by Amal K Joby and Santa Maria is produced by Leemon Chittilappilly under the Don Godly productions banner.

“I got this idea in May 2020 and discussed it with my writer Amal. Our team developed the story and finished the script by August. After we got producer Leemon on board, we narrated the script to Babu Antony in August through a video call as he was in the US. After the discussion, he liked the subject and immediately agreed to be part of the team,” says Vinu.

The director reveals that the film will also feature over 30 well-known actors from the Malayalam film industry, including Alencier, Rony David Raj, Manju Pillai, Vijay Nelliz, Ameya Mathew, Shaalin Zoya, Edavela Babu, Sreejaya Nair, and Zinil Zainudeen.

“One of the superstars of Malayalam cinema will be playing an extended cameo as well,” he adds.

The team plans to begin shooting sometime in October or November. The film will be shot by cinematographer Shiju M Bhaskar (Made in Caravan). The technical crew of Santa Maria includes editor Jose Arukalil and music composer Kedar, who has worked as an associate to AR Rahman

“The camera and music play an important role in the film,” says Vinu, adding that Santa Maria will be a big-canvas film that will be best experienced in theatres.

Meanwhile, Babu Antony, who was last seen in the English film Bullets Blades and Blood, also has Mani Ratnam’s pan-Indian film Ponniyin Selvan and the Malayalam film Power Star in the pipeline.