The title and subject of Kannappa bear immense value to the Rajkumar family, considering that Bedara Kannappa was the late Dr Rajkumar’s first film as a leading man
Only days ago, Kannada star Shivarajkumar had said that he would not do any cameos for a while, as he had a bunch of lead role offers from other industries, besides, of course, his long lineup of Kannada films. Smaller roles would need ample justification for him to take it up, he had said. And then came news that the Century Star has taken up a relatively smaller, but pivotal role in a Telugu film. Namma Shivanna will be a part of Vishnu Manchu’s magnum opus Kannappa, which explores the life of Bhakta Kannappa, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. The film already has Mohanlal, Prabhas, Nayanthara and Nupur Sanon on board the cast and Shivarajkumar is the latest addition.
While the Rajkumar family is known to be close to the Manchus, it is said that Shivarajkumar agreed to be a part of the film because of a sentimental attachment to the title and subject. Back in 1954, GV Iyer’s mythological Bedara Kannappa became late matinee idol Dr Rajkumar’s first film in a lead role. The film went on to have be a critical and commercial success, running for 365-days at a theatre in Bengaluru. It was dubbed in Telugu and did well in that version as well.
Interestingly, years later in 1988, Shivarajkumar had done a remake of sorts of Bedara Kannappa, called Shiva Mecchida Kannappa, in which Dr Rajkumar had a cameo. Bedara Kannappa being a landmark film in Kannada cinema, which is of great importance to the Rajkumar family, and that Shivarajkumar has played Kannappa in the past, it is only apt that he now be a part of a new film called Kannappa.
Shivarajkumar is currently in the midst of promoting his Dasara release Ghost, following which he has to wind up two of his Kannada films - Bhairathi Ranagal and 45. The team of Kannappa is yet to announce when the Kannada star will join the set of the film directed by Mukesh Kumar Singh. Kannappa was launched in August and is set to be shot against the scenic landscapes of New Zealand. A 600-member strong crew is already involved in pre-production work. The film will have music by Mani Sharma and Stephen Devassy while cinematography is by Sheldon Chau.