Filmmaker Sajin Lal will write and direct a biopic of Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, who is known as the ‘Father of Malayalam’.

The film’s title poster was released on Sunday by around 20 artists from the Malayalam film industry including actor Suraj Venjaramoodu and producer NM Badusha, through their social media handles.

Speaking to Silverscreen India, Sajin said that the film titled Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan will be a historical biopic. “It will feature Ezhuthachan’s childhood, youth, and the latter stages of his life when he rose to fame.”

Ezhuthachan was a Malayalam devotional poet, translator and linguist, born near present-day Tirur in Kerala. He was one of the pioneers of a shift in Kerala literature towards religious text associated with the Bhakti movement. He is also known for his contribution to the current Malayalam alphabet. 

Sajin said that he has been researching Ezhuthachan’s life and his contributions for over three years now, along with a team that includes students as well as literature enthusiasts and advocates. “We learnt that there is very little definite knowledge about his life history. So it took quite a long time for us to lock the film’s script and screenplay.”

He added that they referred to over 100 books about Ezhuthachan, visited places where he had lived and also got details from literature experts.

Sajin also stated that while there is a lot of reading material available about Ezhuthachan, his project will be one of the first to detail his life in cinema. “This film can therefore be used as a reference material in future by those who would like to know about Ezhuthachan and his contributions,” the filmmaker added.

Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan will be produced by a group of Malayalees based in India and Dubai under the banner of Apple Tree Cinemas. 

The film’s pre-production work and research on Ezhuthachan’s association with language and music is still underway, said the director. “We plan to have five songs in the film as it will be interesting to use songs as an instrument to tell a few aspects of the story,” he added.

On when the film will go on floors, Sajin said, “We will need more time to finish these preliminary works. We will be able to plan the film’s shoot only after March 2022. Since it’s a historical film, we need to create sets that resemble olden days. So we are thinking of filming in Hyderabad’s Ramoji film city.”

The director added that details about the film’s cast and crew will be announced later.