Malayalam superstars Mammootty, Mohanlal clash over two separate films on Kunjali Marakkar IV
Mohanlal’s film titled as Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham will be directed by Priyadarshan and is touted to be the most expensive Malayalam project ever produced.
Though Mohanlal and Mammootty share a good rapport at film events, fans of the two Malayalam Superstars have been fighting on social media and in the real world for a while. For the ardent fans, both Mammootty and Mohanlal are arch- rivals.
The fan fight has only intensified when news broke out that Mohanlal and Mammootty are individually working on two big-budget films based on the historical tale of Kunjali Marakkar — Kerala’s naval chief who fought against the Portuguese.
To be directed by Priyadarshan, Mohanlal’s film has been titled as Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, which is touted to be the most expensive project ever produced in the Malayalam film industry.
Priyadarshan is planning to rope in the technical crew of his magnum opus Kaalapani for Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham. But the interesting point here is Santosh Sivan who handled the cinematography for Kaalapani is in talks with Mammootty to make a film based on the life of Kunjali Marakkar.
After the title launch of Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, fans of Mohanlal have been saying that the Mammootty’s film is dropped. However, Santosh Sivan has clarified that his version of Kunjali Marakkar needs more time to go on floors and he is planning to make it as a grand war drama. Santosh is known for his period directorial films like Shah Rukh Khan’s Asoka and the multi-starrer Malayalam film Urumi.
Santosh Sivan is currently busy with Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam and, if all goes well, his film with Mammootty will commence by the end of this year.
Priyadarshan’s Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham will be jointly produced by Malayalam cinema’s leading producers —Antony Perumbavoor, CJ Roy, and Santosh T Kuruvilla’s Moonshot Entertainment. Priyadarshan says he had previously interacted with veteran screenwriter T Damodaran and his inputs will be used in the screenplay of the film which is being co-written by Ani, son of veteran filmmaker IV Sasi.
Sources say that Priyadarshan also had a word with Santosh Sivan before announcing the title Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham. Although there were many navel chiefs in Kerala, both Santosh Sivan and Priyadarshan are planning to make films on Kunjali Marakkar IV. Santosh’s film is in pre-production stage but he hasn’t confirmed the list of actors to be featured in his films but Priyadarshan is said to be in talks with some of the leading actors from Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and foreign countries for Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, which is the 45th film in his career.
Just like Kaalapani, Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham will be dubbed in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi because recovering the mammoth investment of the film from Malayalam film industry is not an easy task. So, Priyadarshan is planning to turn the project into a pan-Indian film.
Mohanlal and Mammootty are busy with their respective period films Kayamkulam Kochunni and Maamaankam respectively. They will begin their versions of Kunjali Marakkar IV after completing their current commitments.
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