Nithya Menen is in talks to play legendary actress Savitri in an upcoming biopic. Director Nag Ashwin, who debuted with the 2013 film Yevade Subramanyam, hopes to make the film in Tamil as well as Telugu.
According to a Times of India report, Ashwin approached Nithya as he felt that she would be apt for the role. “Nithya liked Nag’s narration and talks are on with the actress to have her on board for the film. The film will be about the veteran’s life and her place in the industry. Though she had her share of ups and downs in life, this biopic will feature the brighter side of the actress as she was known to be a humourous person.”
While Nithya has expressed interest in the script, she has not yet made it official. Filming will begin later this year, once the cast and crew are finalized.
The biopic has been titled Mahanati, a sobriquet for Savitri. “The story and the character of Savitri is so script like, it has got it’s emotional thread so strong that I’m very confident that audiences will relate to it. I feel stories need to have a certain value to be made into cinema and this story has value on so many levels – historic and emotional,” said Ashwin, in May this year soon after announcing the film.
Ashwin believes that it is time to revisit and understand why Savitri was considered a legend. “From penniless origin to the first female superstar, her life is quite a story. We are in that moment in time where it’s been long enough that the legends have left us, that we will have to revisit them and understand why they are legends,” he said.
Savitri was widely regarded as one of South Indian Cinema’s finest actresses. She debuted in 195o in the Telugu film, Pelli Chesi Choodu and went on to act in over 40 films, in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi. She won the Rashtrapati Award in 1960 for her film, Chivaraku Migiledi. Savitri married actor Gemini Ganesan in 1952. In 1981,Savitri succumbed to Cancer at the age of 45.
Nithya Menen’s latest release Mudinja Ivana Pudi opened to mostly negative reviews. Her Irumugan will release this September.