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Exclusive! Tovino Thomas, Asif Ali replace Prithviraj and Kunchacko Boban in Aashiq Abu’s Neelavelicham

The filmmaker tells us the upcoming movie is set to go on floors in April

Exclusive! Tovino Thomas, Asif Ali replace Prithviraj and Kunchacko Boban in Aashiq Abu’s Neelavelicham
Tovino Thomas and Asif Ali
  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 01.24 AM, Feb 22, 2022

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Director Aashiq Abu is all set to tackle a period film with his version of Vaikom Muhammed Basheer’s short story Neelavelicham, which was also the base for Malayalam’s first horror film Bhargavi Nilayam in 1964.

While the filmmaker had announced the upcoming movie on Basheer’s 113th birth anniversary last year with a stellar cast featuring Prithviraj Sukumaran, Kunchacko Boban, Rima Leena Rajan and Soubin Shahir as the leads, the casting has changed a bit, owing to the delay in schedules of certain projects due to the pandemic. Both Prithviraj and Kunchacko have opted out of Neelavelicham due to scheduling conflicts.

Talking to OTTplay as part of an exclusive interview ahead of his upcoming release Naaradhan, Aashiq tells us, “As far as Prithviraj is concerned, he has a big project in Aadujeevitham and its schedules are unfortunately being delayed due to the pandemic. So, Tovino will be playing the role Prithviraj was initially cast in and Asif Ali has come in place of Kunchacko Boban. However, Rima and Soubin are still part of the cast.”

The filmmaker also tells us that the plan is to begin shooting the movie, which has Shyju Khalid as its cinematographer, by mid April. “It’s not a contemporary retelling. It’s set in the 1960s and is based on Basheer’s text, but it will be our version of it,” he says.

Neelavelicham will mark the fourth collaboration between Tovino and Aashiq, who had earlier worked together in Mayaanadhi and Virus. Their upcoming release Naaradhan, which will hit theatres on March 3, is set against backdrop of media and has Tovino playing a TV journalist named Chandraprakash, who is forced to come to terms with the pressures of the news industry.

The film, based on Unni R’s screenplay, also has Anna Ben, Sharafudheen, Indrans, Renji Panicker, Joy Mathew and Lukman Avaran as part of its cast.

Also read: Exclusive! Jan.E.Man OTT rights sold, here’s where to watch the Arjun Ashokan, Basil Joseph comedy entertainer

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