Ace comedian Vadivelu‘s upcoming Tamil film with director Suraj, which marks his comeback to acting after nearly four years, was officially launched on Friday evening.

The upcoming film will be produced by Lyca Productions and will be a spin-off film, based on Vadivelu’s character, Naai Sekhar, from the 2006 Tamil film Thalai Nagaram, also directed by Suraj.

It is to be noted that the character became a cult hit in Tamil cinema and a dialogue from the film also went on to become the title of filmmaker Vignesh Shivan’s 2015 romantic comedy film, Naanum Rowdy Dhaan.

Speaking at the launch the film, director Suraj said that he worked on the script for the upcoming film along with Vadivelu for over two years.

The launch of the upcoming Tamil film comes close on the heels of the announcement, from the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) in August, that issues between Vadivelu and and makers of Imsai Arasan 24am Pulikesi, the sequel to his hit 2006 historical comedy film Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi, were amicably resolved.

Vadivelu, who was last seen in the 2017 Tamil film Mersal (2017) alongside Vijay, was banned from working in Tamil films in 2018 after he allegedly refused to co-operate with the makers of Imsai Arasan 24am Pulikesi. The film’s producer Shankar and director Chimbu Deven had approached the TFPC after Vadivelu refused to cooperate with them citing creative differences. The film had been shot for 10 days. However, Vadivelu did not respond to the TFPC’s call for mediation. The council then gave him an ultimatum to either resume shooting or pay Rs 9 crore as relief. When he refused to do this as well, the organisation issued a ban on casting him in Tamil films produced by its members.

According to the makers, Lyca Productions was instrumental in the recent initiation of talks between Vadivelu and makers of Imsai Arasan 24am Pulikesi. Last month, Vadivelu revealed to Thanthi TV that he will star in five films produced by Lyca Productions.

The upcoming Suraj directorial marks the 23rd project for Lyca Productions and also marks Vadivelu’s fourth collaboration with the director after Thalai Nagaram, Marudhamalai (2007), and Kaththi Sandai (2016).

According to reports, production house AGS Entertainment, whose upcoming Tamil film is also titled Naai Sekhar, currently holds the rights to that title. At the press conference on Friday, director Suraj stated that everyone associates ‘Naai Sekhar’ with Vadivelu and that talks are ongoing regarding the title of the film. The director added that the talks will soon be completed and the outcome is expected to be positive.