Actor Vikram has joined the cast of director Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan adaptation. The mega-budget film is likely to begin shoot from early next year.
In an interview to Cinema Express, Vikram confirmed that he was part of Mani Ratnam’s next. He has worked with the director on the big-budget film Ravanan in 2010. It is speculated that he will be seen as Aditya Karikalan, the eldest son of Sundara Cholan and brother of Arulmozhivarman, who was the empire’s Northern troop commander in Kalki’s epic novel. However, sources close to the film maintain that nothing can be confirmed yet.
Pre-production work has been on since the start of this year. It was recently reported that Malayalam actor Jayaram may be part of the cast. Jayam Ravi is likely to play Arulmozhivarman, who becomes Raja Raja Cholan. Aishwarya Rai plays Nandhini, the character who plans the downfall of the Chola kingdom, Telugu actor Mohan Babu is Pazhuvetarayar, Keerthy Suresh is Kunthavai Naachiyaar, Amitabh Bachchan is Sundara Cholan, and Amala Paul plays Vaanathi. Vijay Sethupathi, Karthi and Simbu have also reportedly been approached.
The film was announced a decade ago but could not take off due to financial issues, among other reasons. Mani Ratnam was initially in talks with Lyca Productions for the project, but it is now likely to be backed by Reliance Entertainment along with Mani Ratnam’s home banner Madras Talkies.
Soundarya Rajinikanth has said that she will be also producing a web-series adaptation of the novel, directed by Sooriyaprathap S. The project is expected to begin soon.
Meanwhile, Vikram has director RS Vimal’s big-budget film Mahavir Karna under production. It was said last month that the film was temporarily shelved and Vikram is planning to move on to Ponniyin Selvan. However, RS Vimal confirmed in reports that first schedule of shoot in Hyderabad is complete and location scouting in Nepal is on for the next schedule.
Vikram is also gearing up for the release of director Rajesh M Selva’s Kadaram Kondan on July 12. The film co-stars Akshara Haasan, Abi Haasan and others, and features Vikram as a double agent.