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Mammootty wasn’t the first choice for Kannur Squad, writer Rony David Raj explains why

Mammootty essays the role of George Martin in Roby Varghese Raj’s Kannur Squad, which will release on September 28

Mammootty wasn’t the first choice for Kannur Squad, writer Rony David Raj explains why
Mammootty in a still from Kannur Squad

Last Updated: 05.10 PM, Sep 26, 2023


There’s probably no other leading actor in Malayalam cinema who has done as many cop roles as Mammootty . But for his latest movie Kannur Squad, in which he plays an assistant sub-inspector, the megastar wasn’t the first choice.

In a recent interview ahead of the film’s release on September 28, the film’s actor and writer Rony David Raj said that he along with co-writer Muhammed Shafi had begun working working on the script in 2018 and initially had someone else in mind to essay the character of ASI George Martin in the film.

A still from Kannur Squad
A still from Kannur Squad

‘Chose Mammootty as Kannur Squad needed a bigger scale’

“Before we narrated the story to Mammukka, we had approached someone else. That time, we felt that the entire story had a documentary vibe to it and so, we decided to change the second half. Consequently, the movie’s scale also increased. Then we had to have a better performer who had to pull this off,” said Rony in an interview with Mathrubhumi, adding that that’s when he decided to pitch the movie to Mammootty who had also agreed to produce the film.

Rony also talked about how he was worried about each Malayalam crime-drama that had been released post 2019. Right after he had bounced off the script with Mammootty, Operation Java released and then came Kuttavum Shikshayum. “All these films revolved around a group of cops’ effort to nab elusive criminals,” said the actor-scriptwriter.

Mammootty in a still from Unda
Mammootty in a still from Unda

Mammootty on Kannur Squad and Unda comparisons

Meanwhile, Mammootty also addressed the comparisons of his character ASI George Martin in Kannur Squad with SI Manikandan in Unda, which was helmed by Khalid Rahman . The megastar said that unlike Manikandan, who was leading a group of cops and wasn’t attached to any police station, George was more powerful in terms of authority as he is an investigative officer.

Incidentally, the character is inspired by a senior officer who was part of the original Kannur Squad, which was formed by Kannur SP S Sreejith. While the real team had nine members, the one in the film focuses only on four cops – essayed by Mammootty, Azeez Nedumangad, Rony and Shabareesh Varma.

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