Malayalam actor Dileep's long delayed release Ramaleela will hit the screens on September 28. The film's producer Tomichan Mulakuppadam made the announcement on his Facebook page.
The producer has also approached the Kerala High Court seeking police protection for the release of the film.
In his petition before the court, Tomichan said there was a lobby in the industry trying to put an end to Dileep’s career.
Days before Ramaleela was supposed to release, Dileep was arrested by the Kerala police for his alleged involvement in the actor abduction and sexual assault case that shook the state in February this year.
At the time, the producer had said that the film's release would not be delayed. However, the public mood was palpably against Dileep, with people calling for a boycott of even his old films that are telecast on TV channels.
With the star taken into judicial custody and the Angamaly court as well as the Kerala HC denying him bail, Ramaleela was pushed to the backburner. The court agreed with the prosecution that there was sufficient evidence to suspect his involvement in the case and that he might try to influence witnesses if released.
Dileep is also facing land grabbing allegations. However, he has continued to receive support from the Malayalam film industry even though he was removed from AMMA and a few other organisations. Several celebrities have visited him in jail in a show of support and have also said that they believe he has been framed in the case and that they're convinced of his innocence.
The Women in Cinema Collective, however, has strongly stood by the survivor.
The prosecution had argued in court that Dileep had employed a PR agency to garner support on social media for him. While the initial reaction to his arrest unleashed a stream of abuse and booing against the actor, the subsequent weeks saw a change in the narrative. Now, one can see many more social media users asserting that they believe in his innocence and that he's caught in a conspiracy.
The big budget film Ramaleela has been directed by debut director Arun Gopi and also stars Prayaga Martin.
The announcement regarding the release has met with a mixed response. While many have expressed their full support for the film and its star, others have said that they will support the film for the sake of the producer who hasn't done any wrong. A few have categorically objected to the film's release and the support that others have expressed for the accused.