The film will be helmed by debutant director Arun Chandhiran, a former associate of filmmaker Ponram. Arun has also written the script of Chellappillai. He has previously worked as associate director under Ponram in Sivakarthikeyan starrer Rajinimurugan (2016) and Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam (2013).
While the rest of the cast and crew members are yet to be announced, Theeson will be composing music for the film.
Thank you to all those who have released & shared the motion poster for #Chellappillai on such a special day.
Wishing you all a very Happy Tamil New Year and a Happy Vishu!
😊🙏🏻https://t.co/AngfgTMmUj#Netaji125@Arun_chandhiran @Theeson_Music @SSTproduction @DoneChannel1
— Gautham Karthik (@Gautham_Karthik) April 14, 2021
Talking about the motion poster, Arun in a statement referred to Bose as the “godfather of our nation” and said that the “contemporary generation” should know about his “deeds of valour”.
“I was deeply influenced by a famous dialogue of veteran Sivaji Ganesan sir in the movie Devar Magan – ‘When Netaji invited youngsters to come and battle out for Independence, the majority of them was Tamilians’. In the motion teaser, we have incorporated the memorial of the Indian National Army whose foundation stone was laid by Netaji in 1942, which had inscriptions in Japanese, English, Singaporean, and Tamil, which is a pride to everyone here. Such fascinating connections between Netaji and Tamilians made me bring in his values in the movie.”
Arun called the film a “family entertainer”.
Speaking to Silverscreen India, Arun said, “The shooting will commence by mid-August. The pre-production is going on and the script has been finalised. We are currently deciding the cast and crew. People can expect the leading artists to be known faces and apart from that, I am also looking for 100 unknown faces for character and background artists.”
He said that the film would be shot in Theni and Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Stating that the film will mostly be shot in natural locations instead of sets, Arun mentioned that some portions might be shot abroad, depending on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation and constraints.
“The film’s story has been revealed in the motion poster. I have included a grandmother who is dressed traditionally, which suggests nativity. It is up to the audience to decode it. The concept of the film is about how a family entertainer is connected to the Indian National Army and Netaji. However, it is not a period drama,”Arun said.
He said that Gautham will be essaying a “typical youngster role”.
“For this story, I did not think senior heroes would set for this film, I wanted an upcoming youngster. When I saw his films, I thought he will be apt for the role. He was my first choice and he too liked it immediately,” Arun said.
He said that the shooting will be wrapped up November and post-production will be completed by January 2022.
“We were supposed to start shooting for the film in January 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic. I had prepared and narrated the script to Gautham in 2019. We are having a tentative plan to release the film by the first quarter of 2022,” he said.
Arun mentioned that the casting of the film will be confirmed by May and that he was looking for a debut actor for the lead female role.
“I want to introduce a new heroine because there is a need to show new female actors since we already have a good inflow of new male actors. So, there is more search involved and I wish to introduce actors from Tamil Nadu,” he said.
He added that the music will have feature Tamil folk music and instruments.
Chellappillai will be backed by Firoz Hussain Sheriff under SST Productions banner with Kumerasan Vadivelu serving as co-producer.