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Did you know? Venu Sriram wasn’t the first choice to direct Pawan Kalyan’s Vakeel Saab

In his latest interview, Varisu producer Dil Raju discussed how the project materialised in 2020 but faced many roadblocks later

Did you know? Venu Sriram wasn’t the first choice to direct Pawan Kalyan’s Vakeel Saab
Venu Sriram and Pawan Kalyan

Last Updated: 02.26 PM, Apr 30, 2023


Vakeel Saab (streaming on Amazon Prime Video), the Telugu remake of the Taapsee Pannu-Amitabh Bachchan starrer Pink, performed decently at the box office in 2021. Headlined by Pawan Kalyan and directed by Venu Sriram, the courtroom drama also starred Ananya Nagalla, Anjali and Nivetha Thomas. However, in a recent interview, the film’s producer revealed Venu Sriram wasn’t the first choice to direct it and stated how the project materialised.

“When Boney Kapoor organised a show of the Tamil version of Pink, Nerkonda Paarvai, I liked it immensely. I thought they did a fine job of adapting it from the original. I and Harish Shankar conversed about it and believed Pawan Kalyan would be fantastic to play the lead role. It was he who suggested Pawan Kalyan’s name,” Dil Raju said.


“While wondering how do we approach Pawan Kalyan for the role, I and Venu Sriram were also discussing the script of Icon with Allu Arjun on the sets of Ala Vaikunthapurramulo at Annapurna Studios in 2019. I was talking to Trivikram about it and he asked my choice of hero for the film. Pawan Kalyan was my only choice and noticing my confidence, Trivikram asked me to arrange a screening of Nerkonda Paarvai for Pawan Kalyan,” he added.

“Pawan Kalyan liked the film and we were considering several names to direct it. Harish Shankar was to direct it but he was occupied with another film then. Icon was getting delayed at the same time. I asked if Venu Sriram would be okay to put Icon on hold for now and work for another big film. I asked him to watch Nerkonda Paarvai. Within three days, he gave a new spin to the film and I was impressed with Venu’s enthusiasm,” the Varisu producer stated.

Venu Sriram and Pawan Kalyan met later and the project was finalised. “We planned to finish the shoot quickly, much like Shatamanam Bhavati, in about 65 days and release it by May 21, 2020. When everything was sorted, the lockdown was announced and it took us one year to release it. Right in April 2021, COVID-19 was back and it affected the film’s run.”

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