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Chiranjeevi Ponniyin Selvan: Director Ajay Pratheeb to Adapt Tamil Novel ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ into Web Series

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Source: Still from the poster of 'Chiranjeevi Ponniyin Selvan'.

Director Ajay Pratheeb is all set to adapt Ponniyin Selvan, the classic Tamil novel written by Amarar Kalki Krishnamoorthy, into a nine season-series titled Chiranjeevi Ponniyin Selvan.

Over the years, several directors have tried to bring the five-volume novel to the big screen.

Actor, founder of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, the late M G Ramachandran or MGR as he was popularly known was the first to buy the film rights of Ponniyin Selvan and announced the project in 1958. However, before the project commenced, MGR got into an accident and the project got shelved later due to scheduling issues. After MGR, Kamal Haasan too had tried to adapt the novel for the big screen- this project also got shelved. It was later in early 2000s that filmmaker Mani Ratnam announced his plan to finally bring the film adaptation of Ponniyin Selvan to life-with Mahesh Babu, Vijay and Anushka Shetty in lead roles. This film, at the time announced as Mahesh Babu’s debut in Tamil cinema, was also dropped due to budget issues. Currently, Mani Ratnam is shooting for the film in Hyderabad with an entirely different cast that includes  Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Aditi Rao Hydari, Jayam Ravi, Vikram, Karthi, Sobhita Dhulipala and Trisha among others.

Makers of the most recently announced adaptation of the novel-the nine season-series- in a press release said that they have hence decided to add ‘Chiranjeevi’ to the title to ensure “longevity”.

“After seeking blessings from siddhars, Pratheeb was advised to add the word chiranjeevi, which refers to longevity and sustainability in Tamil” to the title, a press release from the makers said.

The cast and crew of the project will be announced on April 14.

The series will have music composed by Ilaiyaraaja. Composition for the music and recording will begin on June 2, on the occasion of the birthday of Illaiyaraaja.

“The meticulous efforts we put forth for the past 6 years to make MGR’s dream come true is noteworthy. When we met Isaignani Illayaraja with the completely ready screenplay, dialogue, drawings and computer graphics, the legend got convinced. His trust upon us became strong and he gave his nod to work in the project,” Pratheeb said in the press release.

Pratheeb, who has earlier directed advertisements, will be making the series into a full-length 125-hour feature film, which will be released on a streaming platform into numerous episodes. For the first four months, starting from April 14, 2022, the one-hour episode will be telecast every Friday. After that, these episodes will be telecast on Fridays and Saturdays. Segregated into nine seasons, there will be a 45-day interval between each season.

The web series will be jointly produced by Eternitee Motion Krafte Pvt Ltd and Eterneity Star. Sabu Cyril has been roped in as the art director of the project and Antony has joined as the editor. Visual effects will be taken care by Viswanathan Ananth of Baahubali and Maniyan Selvam is doing the costume designing. Shanmugavel will take care of the art.

Shooting for Chiranjeevi Ponniyin Selvan will roll out on August 18. The first episode will air on April 14, 2022.

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