Akshay Kumar or Ranveer Singh may reprise Vijay's role in Hindi remake of Kaththi; Bhansali acquires rights

Raja Sekar

Aug,24 2018 09:14:21 IST

Bollywood’s leading producer and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has procured the Hindi remake rights of actor Vijay’s blockbuster Tamil film Kaththi. Known for producing remakes of successful South films in Hindi, including Rowdy Rathore (Vikramarkudu) and Gabbar is Back (Ramana), Bhansali is said to be in talks with Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh to play the lead role in the Kaththi remake.

Akshay Kumar. Facebook

Akshay Kumar. Facebook

Released in 2014, Vijay played a dual role in Kaththi — a hydrology research scientist (Jeevanandam) who fights with the corporate companies after they grabbed the land of the farmers in his village, and a brainy criminal (Kathiresan) who escapes out of a Kolkata prison. In an accident, the criminal comes in place of Jeevandam and the unconscious scientist gets arrested by the cops. Interestingly, Vijay played a special cameo appearance in Akshay-starrer Rowdy Rathore, produced by Bhansali.

Kaththi was a sensational hit in Tamil and it collected more than Rs 125 crore at the box office. Later, Telugu megastar Chiranjeevi approached Vijay and Lyca Productions to remake the film in Telugu as Khaidi No 150, which marked the comeback of the actor. Khaidi No 150 was also a massive blockbuster in Tollywood and the film registered the career-highest numbers for Chiranjeevi.

Even when AR Murugadoss made Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty, the remake of his blockbuster Tamil film Thuppakki, the director approached Akshay to play the lead role in the Hindi remake of Kaththi and also suggested his associate Jagan to direct the film. But Akshay is said to have told Murugadoss to make necessary changes in the script to suit the sensibilities of the Hindi audience.

When Murugadoss held talks with Akshay for the Hindi remake, the film’s original producers, Lyca, had shown interest in bankrolling the remake. Though Akshay’s presence is unclear in Bhansali’s film, the actor is the prime choice for the remake. As Akshay had played the lead role in Bhansali’s Rowdy Rathore and Gabbar is Back, he is most likely to reprise Vijay’s role in the remake and Ranveer Singh is said to be an alternative option. Ranveer is currently busy with Simmba, the remake of Telugu hit Temper.

Sources also say that Lyca will jointly produce Hindi remake. “Lyca Productions always wanted to enter into the Hindi territory. They forayed into the Telugu market with Khaidi No 150 and eyeing the Bollywood debut with the Kaththi remake," said a source close to the development.

The major reason why Lyca is spreading their wings is that their magnum opus 2.0 needs strong distribution network chains across the country so they are keen in collaborating with efficient partners.

The biggest challenge for the team is to adapt the core plot of Kaththi with changes required in order to cater to the Bollywood audiences. They also have to find a suitable village in the North territory for the flashback portions because the plight of the farmers is the major attraction in the Tamil and Telugu versions. Kaththi also had strong political dialogues against corruption and irregularities in the system, including the 2G scam.

Prabhu Deva directed Bhansali’s Rowdy Rathore and Krish directed Gabbar Is Back, so we have to wait and see whether the Padmaavat director opts for another South filmmaker or a proven Hindi director to helm the remake of Kaththi.

Sources say that the project is at discussion stage so the cast and crew are expected to be announced only after the team locks the script for the Hindi version.

Updated Date: Aug 24, 2018 09:14 AM