Director Vijay’s life has come full circle. The filmmaker’s 2013 Tamil film Thalaivaa starring Tamil Superstar Vijay faced huge obstacle from the ADMK Government for the tagline ‘Time To Lead’. Only after repeated requests from the actor and removal of the tagline, Thalaivaa hit the screens in Tamil Nadu.
Now, Vijay is helming the biopic of the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and ADMK’s former General Secretary Jayalalithaa. Interestingly, the biopic has been titled as Thalaivi. Vibri Media, one of the producers of Ranveer Singh’s 83 is bankrolling the film in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi. Reliable sources close to the production house have revealed that Thalaivi will be a magnum opus and the rough estimate of the total production cost is around 100 crore rupees.
After discussing various names like Vidya Balan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Nayanthara, Vijay has finalised Kangana Ranaut to play Jayalalithaa in Thalaivi. A source close to the director says “Vijay feels that Kangana’s off-screen quality gels well with Jayalalithaa who is known for her bold decision and independently lead her life without anyone’s support. Moreover, Vijay wanted an actress who can justify both the younger and older versions of Jayalalithaa so he preferred Kangana over Vidya and Aishwarya Rai”.
Besides her roller coaster political life, Jayalalithaa was also a big star of her times that she acted in more than 140 films across Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi.
In Thalaivi, Kangana will be sporting two different looks and for the older version of Jayalalithaa, the actress will have to gain weight, she will also apply prosthetic makeup to look mature.
GV Prakash Kumar who composed background score for Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur will be composing songs and original soundtrack for the film. Vijay also roped in his favorite cinematographer Nirav Shah of 2.0 fame to crank the camera for Thalaivi. SS Rajamouli’s father and renowned writer KV Vijayendra Prasad of Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan fame is working along with Vijay in the screenplay and Telugu dialogues of the biopic.
Vijay is planning to begin the shoot of Thalaivi in June, once Nirav Shah completes shooting for Ajith’s Nerkonda Paarvai and as of now, the makers are eyeing to release the film in 2020. Thalaivi is likely to have Sai Pallavi and National Award winning actor Samuthirakani in pivotal characters.
But, it is not the only biopic of Jayalalithaa under production. Multiple directors and producers are working on their own versions of the late Chief Minister. Meanwhile, Vijay has also finished his two pending films— Watchman and Devi 2 starring Prabhu Deva and GV Prakash respectively, so he is currently focusing only on the script work and pre-production of Thalaivi.
Gautham Menon and Ramya Krishnan are working together on a web series based on the life story of Jayalalithaa. The Baahubali actress plays Jayalalithaa in the web series which will be aired in MX Player. Gautham is currently filming the political portions of Jayalalithaa in various huge sets erected in Chennai.
Newcomer Priyadhaarshini is also directing a biopic of Jayalalithaa titled The Iron Lady featuring Nithya Menen in the lead.