STR signs three political dramas, may soon star in Mani Ratnam's adaptation of Ponniyin Selvan
STR also completed the script work of his directorial film but owing to back-to-back heroic projects, the actor has pushed that ambitious project to 2020.
2018 was a difficult year for Simbu aka STR as he faced a serious allegation from producer Michael Rayappan, who said that the actor did not turn up for the shoot of Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan and also delayed the dubbing process, which incurred him a massive loss. Michael Rayappan also approached the Tamil Film Producers Council to ban STR from signing new films. But the actor earned solid support from ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam, who roped him in for his multi-starrer Chekka Chivantha Vaanam.
The presence of STR brought a good opening to Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. Eventually, the strong content, and the other two stars — Vijay Sethupathi and Arvind Swamy — made it a big hit. After Karthi’s Kadaikutty Singam, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam is the second biggest earner of Tamil cinema in 2018 based on return on investment.
Post the success of Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, the distributors Lyca Productions signed STR for the Tamil remake of Pawan Kalyan’s Attarintiki Daredi. Directed by Sundar C, the Tamil version has been titled as Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven and is all set to release on the actor’s birthday weekend (1 February). On his birthday (3 February), STR will begin shooting for his political action entertainer Maanaadu with director Venkat Prabhu.
“For his character in the film, STR learns martial arts in Thailand. He is also in a strict diet to shed a few kilos for his character in Maanaadu," said a source close to the actor. Simbu has also now replaced Vijay in Seeman’s political action entertainer. Tentatively titled as Kobam, the film is all about how a doctor revolts against the corruption and irregularities in the society.
Talking about the film, director Seeman says “A lot of actors refused to work with me because of my political involvement. This year, I will be back to filmmaking business with a project featuring Simbu in the lead." Though Seeman did not reveal whether the film he is going to make with Simbu is the same one he narrated to Vijay, the director said:, “Vijay and I discussed to work together but due to some reasons, the film didn’t materialise. However, I’m happy that a fellow Tamilian is ruling Kollywood now”.
However, at his party gathering, Seeman lashed out at Vijay for only being a reel life hero. "I feel ashamed to call him as my brother. He lost my respect by surrendering to people like (Narendra) Modi, Jayalalithaa and Edappadi Palanisamy. He mouths my political speeches in his films but doesn't have the guts to act under my direction. Henceforth, Tamil Nadu's Superstar is my brother STR. We are going to do three movies and the first one will be releasing for Diwali. Like how Annadurai used MGR, I will be using STR to spread my political ideologies," said Seeman.
Besides Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven, Maanaadu and the untitled film with Seeman, STR is also likely to play as one of the leads in Ratnam’s next period multi-starrer, which is said to be the film adaptation of Kalki’s epic novel Ponniyin Selvan.
“Impressed with STR, Mani Ratnam has recently narrated the story of his next to the actor. Though the remuneration and other details are yet to be confirmed, STR has given his nod to the director. STR considers Chekka Chivantha Vaanam as the biggest turning point in his career," says a source close to the actor.
The source also added that as Ratnam’s film will only go on floors by the second half of this year, STR will complete all his pending films, including Maanaadu and Seeman’s film before September of this year. If all goes well, the actor will have three releases this year, a rare feat in STR’s career.
STR also completed the script work of his directorial film but owing to back-to-back heroic projects, the actor has pushed that ambitious project to 2020. Gautham Menon, who gave two big hits —Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya and Achcham Yenbathu Madamaiyada to STR — has also approached the actor with a script which will also begin next year, after the director completes his pending projects.
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