Produced by K Vijay Pandi, with PG Muthiah serving as co-producer, Deja Vu is written and directed by debutant filmmaker Arvindh Srinivasan.
The mystery thriller is a bilingual project that has also been shot in Telugu, with actor Naveen Chandra in the lead. However, the other cast members remain the same. The Telugu version is produced by Ramanjaneyulu under Sarvanth Ram Creations banner.
Speaking to Silverscreen India about the film, Arvindh said, “It is a mystery thriller that primarily takes place in one day and night, though there will be backstory too. Arulnithi plays an investigation officer. While he has previously played a cop in other films, we have tried a new approach here. For example, he does not wear a uniform at all throughout the story.”
“The film is not based on a particular case or event, but it is centred on a common crime that people would have come across in newspapers. The whole story will revolve around Smruthi Venkat’s character. She does not have any love interest in the film,” he added.
Arvindh revealed that the film also features actor Madhoo as a police officer for the first time in her career. She plays the superior of Arulnithi’s character.
While the script was not written with Arulnithi in mind, Arvindh approached the actor after noting that his collaborations with new filmmakers in Demonte Colony (2015) and Mouna Guru (2011) became successful. “I approached him with the bound script in December 2019 and he came on board soon after. We went on floors in November 2020 and finished most of the filming by March first week. We have a day of shooting left and will wrap up by next week,” he added.
Deja Vu has been shot in Chennai and Hyderabad, but the story takes place in Chennai.
The film has been given a different treatment in Telugu, according to the director. “It is not a frame-by-frame bilingual. The Telugu version has some commercial elements added to suit the audience.”
Arvindh added that his original plan was to make this as a trilingual project. The filmmaker had approached Vivek Oberoi to act in the Hindi version, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, that version has been put on hold. “I envisioned this as a pan-Indian film and that’s the reason why we cast actors from different industries. We wanted to shoot the Hindi version in Goa but found it hard to get permissions due to the pandemic restrictions. However, the project is still in the pipeline.”
The filmmaker said that the makers are considering various options for Deja Vu‘s release, including OTTs and theatres. “We are looking to see if we can release in the coming 2-3 months. We have shot it with theatres in mind, but theatres have not yet opened in Tamil Nadu. Ultimately, it is the producers’ call. So far, we are planning a parallel release in Tamil and Telugu.”