The director was clarifying rumours that began circulating soon after he announced that he has roped in Samantha for his next project.
  • Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 18:42

The Nayanthara starrer Aramm was one of the biggest hits in her career. This heroine-centric film, which was directed by Gopi Nainar, was released a couple of years ago. Since then, there have been speculations that the director may go ahead with a sequel. 

So, when the announcement came that Gopi Nainar will be associating with Samantha Akkineni for a new project, rumours started off that the sequel will star Samantha instead of Nayan.

But, the director has refuted it outright in an interview to In.com. He has said, “Talks have been on and discussions are happening. But, it is not the sequel of Aramm. This is a fresh script and it is a women-centric film. Aramm 2 will happen only with Nayanthara and no one else. She is very busy right now, so that project will take some time to shape up.”

In Aramm, Nayan played a district collector. Kotapadi J Rajesh bankrolled the film under his banner KJR Films. Ghibran had composed music for this film with Om Prakash being its cinematographer and Gopi Krishna editing it. The star cast of Aramm includes the Kakka Muttai fame Vignesh and Ramesh, Sunu Lakshmi, Vinodhini Vaidyanathan, Ramachandran Durairaj and PV Anandakrishnan.

While Aramm 2 is still in the initial stages, the director is busy making a film with Bobby Simha in the lead. Reports are that he will be making a biopic on the tribal leader Birsa Munda very soon.

In the meantime, Nayanthara will be completing the Vijay starrer Bigil, directed by Atlee Kumar in addition to the AR Murugadoss directorial Darbar in which she pairs up with the Superstar Rajinikanth. Besides these Tamil biggies, she will also be seen in the Telugu magnum opus Sye Raa and the Malayalam film Love Action Drama.

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The Tamil filmmaker has joined the celebrities who have been showing their appreciation for this Malayalam film with Tovino Thomas in the lead.
  • Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 17:09

Ever since the Malayalam film And the Oskar Goes to… was released, it has been receiving several positive reviews. While the fans were heaping praises, celebrities like Basil Joseph, Ranjith Sankar, Madhupal and Shahabaz Aman also took to the social media to show their appreciation. And joining them is the National Award-winning filmmaker from the Tamil film industry Seenu Ramasamy who has tweeted: “#AndTheOscarGoesTobrilliantly & soul touching screen script. @ttovino #AnuChithara @madhuambat #directorsalimahamed Congratulations for grand success.”

The film is directed by National Award winner Salim Ahamed. Anu Sithara shared screen space with Tovino Thomas in this entertainer. The film has a very talented technical crew with Bijibal roped in to score the music, Madhu Ambat for cinematography and the Oscar winning sound engineer Resul Pookutty for sound mixing and designing. A major portion of the film was shot in the US and Canada.

Tovino Thomas, who plays the male lead in And the Oskar Goes To… is seen as a struggling film director in it. His character in it is named Izaak Ibrahim.

It may be noted here that the film premiered at the Alberta Film Festival in Canada and won critical acclaim and four awards – Best Actor, Best Film, Best Supporting Actor (Female) and Best Director.

On the big response in the international platform, Tovino posted on his social media page much earlier: “Another wish come true! When someone aspires to be an actor, receiving awards is naturally a part of that dream. But even in those private dreamy moments, I didn't imagine myself taking home an international award! Salim Ahmad's 'And The Oskar Goes To' wins multiple awards at the Alberta Film Festival 2019 - Canada, honoring me with the Best Actor title. This goes beyond imaginations! Truly honored and thankful. Can't thank Salimkka enough for entrusting me with this role - it has realized much more than a dream for me. The film has also won the Best Film, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress awards. Congrats to all the winners and everyone who was part of the film. Feeling really proud of Malayalam cinema going places and to be a part of it (sic).”

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Also read: Dear Tamil film industry – reviewers don’t cause flops, bad films do

The shooting of his film ‘Ittymaani: Made in China’ just got over, with the final schedule shot in China.
  • Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 16:48

Having completed the film Ittymaani: Made in China, Mohanlal is moving on to his next project, Big Brother. The shooting of this film will go on the floors on July 11, confirmed its director Siddique. The first schedule will begin in Ernakulam and then move on to other places, we hear.

Big Brother has the Bollywood actor Arbaaz Khan making his Malayalam debut. Others in the cast include Anoop Menon, Sarjano Khalid and Satna Titus. While Mohanlal, Anoop Menon and Sarjano Khalid play brothers in this flick, Arbaaz will be seen as a police officer. 

Mohanlal was recently in China to finish the final schedule of shooting for Ittymaani: Made in China. This film has now gone into the post-production stage. It is directed by debut filmmakers Jibi and Joju and bankrolled by Anthony Perumbavoor under his banner Aashirvad Cinemas. The title poster of the film was unveiled some time ago and it featured a laughing Buddha also indicating that it will be a comic caper. 

Joju said in an earlier interview to the Times of India, “It’s a total fun movie that would remind the audience of Lalettan’s yesteryear superhits such as Vellanakalude Naadu, Chithram and Kilukkam.”

While Ittymaani: Made in China and Big Brother are expected to hit the silver screen this year, Mohanlal also has Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham waiting for release early next year. The shooting of this historical was wrapped up a couple of months ago and it is currently in the post production stage.

The film, directed by Priyadarshan is based on the true life of Kunjali Marakkar IV. The title ‘Kunjali Marakkar’ was bestowed on naval chiefs during the 16th century and these naval chiefs fought valiantly against the Portuguese army. There were four Kunjali Marakkars during that era, of which the fourth is the most valiant and popular.

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Also read: 30 years of 'Kireedam': Why Mohanlal and Thilakan are seared in our hearts

The actor was last seen in 'Maharshi' which released in May this year.
  • Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 13:58

A leaked still from the Mahesh Babu starrer Sarileru Neekevvaru is doing rounds on the internet and movie buffs are simply loving it. Mahesh Babu is seen wearing an army uniform in the scene which indicates that he is playing an army officer in the film. While the star has played a cop in a couple of films like Pokiri and Dookudu, this is the first time he will be seen as the army officer. 

Directed by Anil Ravipudi, Rashmika Mandanna has been roped in to play the female lead in the movie. The film will have two veteran actors Ramya Krishnan and Vijayashanthi in pivotal roles with Rajendra Prasad, Rao Ramesh and producer Bandla Ganesh in the star cast as well. While it is speculated that Vijayashanthi will be seen as the main villain in the film, there are also reports that she is playing the role of Mahesh’s mother in the film. This film, which remains to be titled, will be an early 2020 release.

Sarileru Neekevvaru is being bankrolled jointly by Anil Sunkara, Dil Raju and Mahesh Babu under the banner AK Entertainments, Sri Venkateswara Creations, GMB Entertainment. Devi Sri Prasad will be composing music for this venture.

Mahesh Babu’s last film to release at the theatres was Maharshi in May this year. Directed by Vamsi Paidapally, it is a high budget project with a major portion of it shot in the United States. The film was about three friends played by Mahesh Babu, Allari Naresh and Pooja Hegde. It also had veteran actor Jayapradha playing a pivotal role. The film was produced jointly by Dil Raju, C. Ashwini Dutt and Prasad V. Potluri under the banners Sri Venkateswara Creations, Vyjayanthi Movies and PVP Cinema. The technical crew of this film included Devi Sri Prasad as its music composer, K. U. Mohanan as cinematographer and Praveen KL as editor.

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'Walter', which features Sibiraj in the role of a cop, also stars Samuthirakani and Shirin Kanchawala in crucial roles.
  • Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 18:56

Filmmaker Gautham Vasudev Menon, who hasn’t had a single release in the last two years, is all set to be seen playing the baddie in Sibiraj’s cop drama Walter. Gautham was last seen playing an important role in Vijay Milton’s Goli Soda 2.

Talking about roping in the Minnale director for the role, director Anbu told New Indian Express: “When we narrated the script and his role to Gautham sir, he was very impressed. Though his role will be more of a cameo, it will bring about an important twist in the film. We completed the first schedule of Walter on July 3, and the portions involving Gautham sir will be shot in the second schedule, which will begin mid-July.”

Walter, which features Sibiraj in the role of a cop, also stars Samuthirakani and Shirin Kanchawala in crucial roles. It’s worth mentioning that Gautham has been regularly taking up acting assignments and will also be seen in a pivotal role in Dulquer Salmaan’s next Tamil film. It’s said to be Gautham’s first full-fledged role.

In an earlier interview to Cinema Express, director Desingh said: “Gautham sir plays one of the five pivotal characters in the film. If you leave out the films where he played himself and Goli Soda 2 where he did a guest role as a cop, this will be his first full-fledged role as an actor.”

Apparently, the role was originally written for another actor and when he wasn’t available, Desingh felt the character would suit Gautham Menon. “After my original choice for the role backed out, I didn't want to cast the usual favourites like Samuthirakani or Prakash Raj as I wanted someone fresh."

The film has been produced by Anto Joseph. On the filmmaking front, Gautham Menon has completed shooting his web series on late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa starring Ramya Krishnan. 

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'96' composer Govind Vasantha was originally signed as the film’s composer, however, latest reports suggest that he has been replaced by Sid Sriram.
  • Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 18:47

Playback singer Sid Sriram is all set to make his debut as a composer in Mani Ratnam’s next Tamil production venture Vaanam Kottatum starring Vikram Prabhu, Aishwarya Rajesh and Radikaa Sarath Kumar.

To be directed by Dhanasekaran, an erstwhile assistant of Mani Ratnam, the film will also star Madonna Sebastian as one of the female leads. 96 composer Govind Vasantha was originally signed as the film’s composer, however, latest reports suggest that he has been replaced by Sid Sriram.

Last November, Govind was thrilled to sign this project and had expressed his excitement in an Instagram post.

Talking to Times of India, Siva Ananth, executive producer of the banner said, “We did speak to Govind for the project. The film was supposed to take off earlier but it took us some time. Eventually, the dates didn’t work out with Govind. We wanted a young talent for the film and approached Sid Sriram.”

An excited Sriram said that he’s looking forward to presenting completely new sound through this album. “We’re going to present a completely new sound. I’m in the initial stages of conceptualizing the music right now. I’ve had many conversations with the director Dhana Sekaran to get the different emotional textures of the film. I’ve started sketching out the different sonic and musical spaces that I want these songs to occupy. I’ve been able to have some key conversations with Mani sir as well, which have been very encouraging.”

The film’s shoot will begin this month. Last seen playing an encounter specialist in cop thriller Thuppakki Munai, actor Vikram Prabhu will be a collaboration with Mani Ratnam for the first time. The film was originally supposed to feature GV Prakash Kumar also in a key role. There’s no clarity on whether the role has been completely scrapped or if someone else has been roped in to essay the same character.

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The film will be directed by Ajay Devaloka and the story is inspired by a true incident.
  • Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 18:13

Nithya Menen and Shine Tom Chacko are pairing up for a crime thriller that will be directed by Ajay Devaloka.

All three artistes are highly recognised in the film industry. While Nithya Menen has a reputation of being able to pull off any role with ease, Shine Tom Chacko has carved a niche for himself through his many films, including the latest portrayal of a policeman in the Mammootty starrer Unda. As for director Ajay Devaloka, his film Who was selected for screening at the Cannes film festival last year.

On the new film with Nithya Menen and Shine Tom Chacko, Ajay said to the Times of India, “It is an end-to-end crime thriller inspired from a true incident. It is going to be a haunting movie which will also make viewers shed tears.” He added, “When I first heard about the incident, I was really hooked by it and I spoke to Shine Tom Chacko. He was equally excited and said that we should work on the script. That’s how it all began.” 

On Nithya Menen’s role, all he said was that it will be a “strong and powerful” character and Shine will be seen as a cop, he added.

The film, which has not been titled yet, is written jointly by Mohammed Jishad and Shabna Mohammed. The shooting of this film will begin in September and the groundwork for it is on. Plans are on to complete the entire shooting in Kozhikode.

Nithya Menen’s last film release was the supernatural thriller Pranaa, which won her a lot of praise. Directed by VK Prakash, Pranaa was produced by Suresh Raj, Praveen S Kumar and Anita Raj, Nithya is the sole actor in the film, playing a writer who goes to live in a haunted house to prove there is no ghost in it. It was her comeback film in Malayalam, three years after 100 Days of Love.

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Also read: In childish circular, Tamil film producers threaten to ban harsh reviewers

The film will have three heroines, for which Payal Rajput and Nabha Natesh have already been roped in.
  • Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 17:39
Digital Native

The shooting of the Ravi Teja starrer Disco Raja is going on at a brisk pace. When this film went on the floors, it was revealed that three heroines would be part of the project. While Payal Rajput and Nabha Natesh have been roped in already, the latest addition is Tanya Hope. The Sandalwood actor was last seen as the heroine in Abhishek Ambareesh’s debut film Amar.

However, Tanya’s debut in the film industry was with the Telugu flick Nenu Sailaja, in which she made a guest appearance. She currently has two Kannada movies, Home Minister and Khaki, in her kitty.

Coming back to Disco Raja, Vi Anand is wielding the megaphone for this entertainer while Ram Talluri is producing it. According to reports, it is a science fiction film, a genre that is sure to bring in crowds to the theatres.

It may be noted here that the shooting of Disco Raja was stalled for some time over some differences of opinion between its makers and the lead star. However, it was sorted out and the shooting resumed recently. Currently, the team is stationed at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad where some scenes are being canned on sets specially erected for the purpose.

The star cast of this film also includes Allari Naresh in an important role. Sources confirm that Naresh agreed to join the cast after being impressed with the way his character has been shaped.

Disco Raja is likely to hit the marquee later this year. It may be noted here that Ravi Teja is desperately in need of a big hit and is banking his hopes on this film.

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Samyuktha Menon plays the antagonist in this action entertainer, directed by Praveen Prabharam.
  • Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 17:34

A new poster of the upcoming Malayalam movie Kalki, featuring Tovino Thomas, has been released online. The actor is seen wearing a police uniform and wielding a chainsaw. It appears that the still is from an action sequence in the film. Also, the makers have released a behind the making video which makes it all the more interesting.

Tovino Thomas and Samyuktha Menon play the lead pair in Kalki. Interestingly, Samyuktha also plays the antagonist in this action entertainer. The shooting of Kalki was wrapped up recently and it is currently in the post production stage. Reports are that it will hit the marquee on August 8. 

Tovino, as seen in the poster, will be seen playing a police officer in this film. This is not the first time that Tovino is donning the Kakhi, He has earlier played cop in the Prithviraj starrer Ezra, in a cameo appearance.

Kalki is directed by Praveen Prabharam who has also penned the script along with Sujin Sujathan. Handling the cinematography for this film is Gautham Sankar and Jakes Bejoy is composing the music. Kalki is bankrolled by Suvin K Krishna and Prasobh Krishna under the banner Little Big Films.

A prologue teaser of the film came out earlier, where Tovino, blood dripping from his face, is seen jumping with all is might to strike a few men coming to attack him.

Tovino has been on a roll with several of his films coming out in recent weeks. And The Oskar Goes To and Luca came out last month, and he played the lead in both of them. There has also been Virus and Lucifer before that, in which Tovino played important roles.

And there are more to come. The actor currently has Edakkadu Bettalion 06, Kilometers and Kilometers, Minnal Murali, Joe and a few other projects in his kitty.

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Also read: 30 years of 'Kireedam': Why Mohanlal and Thilakan are seared in our hearts

Made on a staggering budget of Rs 500 crore, the film is jointly produced by Allu Aravind, Madhu Mantena and Namith Malhotra.
  • Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 17:13

Ace producers Allu Aravind, Madhu Mantena and Namith Malhotra are all set to come together for the Rs 500-crore budget movie, The Ramayan, which would be one of the most expensive films to be ever made in the history of Tollywood. It will be produced on a massive scale by Geetha Arts in association with Prime Focus. Nitesh Tiwari, who earlier directed Dangal and Ravi Udyawar, who directed Mom, will jointly helm this mammoth project.

This film will be a pan-Indian project catering to the Tamil, Hindi and Telugu audience and will be made in three parts. While the cast and crew are yet to be finalised, the film will be shot completely in 3D. The first part is likely to go on floors from December 2019 and is scheduled to release in 2021.

Nitesh Tiwari was quoted by NDTV saying, "I went with my father and brother to the Ramleela every year and though we all knew the story, it still evoked the same emotions in us when Sita was kidnapped or Raavan's effigy was burnt.”

Maverick director SS Rajamouli's ‘RRR’, a multi starrer that has Ram Charan Teja and Jr NTR as heroes, is also said to be based on the epic, Ramayana. But there is no official confirmation on the same.

It may be noted here that Mohanlal’s Randamoozham, a film based on the epic Mahabharata, went on floors earlier this year, directed by VA Shreekumar Menon.  BR Shetty, a UAE-based businessman had planned to produce this venture on a staggering budget of Rs 1,000 crore. However, due to unresolved issues between writer MT Vasudevan Nair and director Shreekumar Menon, the film had to be put in the cold storage.

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