Upadhyaksha is Chikkanna’s first film as a leading man and sees him reprise his character from 2014’s Adhyaksha
One of the first Kannada films to lock January 26 for its theatrical outing was Upadhyaksha, starring funny man Chikkanna in the lead. Directed by Anil Kumar, the film is Chikkanna’s first as protagonist and has him reprising his character from 2014’s Adhyaksha. A romantic comedy, Chikkanna is paired with Malaika Vasupal (of Hitler Kalyana fame) in the film that is looking at heavy competition at the box office. There are multiple Kannada films, Bachelor Party, Case of Kondana, Hadinelentu, Koli Esru, to name a few, as well as the big-ticket Hindi release, Fighter. The Hrithik Roshan film, though, is not direct threat, feels Chikkanna, as Upadhyaksha is a comedy film, which has its own set of audience. The only issue that the actor foresees is in the allocation of screens in multiplexes.
“We are anyway not looking at a big release and will bring our film to a limited number of screens in Kannada film friendly pockets on January 26,” he said speaking to National TV. After a successful career as a supporting actor in over 200 films, Chikkanna makes the switch over to protagonist with this film. “I’ve been doing well in my career, no doubt, but I think I can do better and that’s why I did Upadhyaksha,” he added. In fact, after Adhyaksha, Chikkanna had several offers for lead roles, but at the time, he was not confident to take on the responsibility. When Upadhyaksha came up, he decided to go along, because Adhyaksha was a film that gave him a good break in Kannada cinema. Also, it is a character that audiences remember and relate to.
The film, meanwhile, came together first when Chikkanna and producer Umapathy Srinivas decided to collaborate. At the time, though, there was no script in place and it was a year later that they finally decided to put their plan into action. Director Chandra Mohan had an interesting subject that Chikkanna ran by Umapathy, after which, a few others in their close circle, including directors Anil, AP Arjun, Chethan Kumar, etc., joined in and agreed that it seemed apt for me. The title was decided by Umapathy, but after that, it was decided that it would make sense to connect this tale to Adhyaksha and the whole script was then rewritten.