Aashiq Abu has announced his next film. Titled Virus, the poster shows people in protective medical suits pushing along a trolley with bags of waste. The accompanying caption, 'Based on our #TrueStories' suggests that the film will be on the outbreak of the Nipah virus in Kerala.
What has got social media excited, however, is the star cast. The poster has the following names on it: Revathy, Rima Kallingal, Parvathy, Tovino Thomas, Asif Ali, Kalidas Jayaram, Remya Nambeeshan, Soubin Shahir, Dileesh Pothan, and Chemban Vinod.
With a huge list of accomplished actors appearing in the poster, speculation is rife that it might be an anthology film with the storyline connected through the virus.
Aashiq Abu's last film was the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Mayaanadhi starring Tovino Thomas and Aishwarya Lekshmi in lead roles. The film was released for Christmas last year and was about a criminal on the run and his off-on relationship with an aspiring actor.
The Nipah virus was first reported in the month of May in Kozhikode district in Kerala. There were 10 deaths in the first week, including that of a health worker. However, it was soon contained and the outbreak was declared as over on June 10, 2018. The fruit bats in the area were the source of the disease.
The Kerala government's response in containing the outbreak was appreciated by several, including the WHO. The government also instituted the 'Best Nurse in Public Service Award' in memory of Lini Puthussery, a nurse who contracted Nipah and died while treating the affected. Virus is expected to release in summer 2019.
According to sources, Revathy will play the Kerala State Health Minister KK Shailaja while Rima will be playing nurse Lini.