Cinematographer-turned-director Venu is planning to rope in actors Prithviraj Sukumaran, Manju Warrier, Anna Ben, and Asif Ali for his upcoming Malayalam film, a source close to the film’s unit confirmed to Silverscreen India on condition of anonymity. 

The big-budget film will reportedly be based on author, screenwriter and filmmaker GR Indugopan’s story titled Sankhumukhi. According to the source, the author will write the film’s screenplay as well. “The team has completed the preliminary works of the film. However, the project has not been kick-started due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation,” the source said. 

The source added that the film will have a big star cast. “The team is still working on how to bring all of them together considering the date availability of the artists. We don’t expect to begin filming before the end of this year.”

According to a Times of India report, Venu’s upcoming film will be an emotional thriller set in the backdrop of gang wars in Thiruvananthapuram, which will be produced by the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) writers’ union. 

This film will be Venu’s fourth feature directorial. His last work as a director was the recently released short film Rachiyamma, starring Parvathy Thiruvothu and Asif Ali, which was part of the anthology Aanum Pennum.

Venu, who started out as a cinematographer, made his directorial debut with the Manju Warrier-starrer Daya (1998). 16 years later, Venu helmed his second film titled Munnariyippu, starring Mammootty. In 2018, he wrote and directed Carbon, an adventure thriller starring Fahadh Faasil and Mamta Mohandas, which won six Kerala state awards.

Venu, who is also the founding member of the Indian Society of Cinematographers, has worked as the director of photography of classic films like Aparan, Innale, Guna, and Minsara Kanavu. He has been the recipient of four National Film awards, including three for Best Cinematography and the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director. He has also won four Kerala State Film awards.