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Neelavelicham, Ayalvaashi initially had Prithviraj Sukumaran in the lead, here’s why the actor dropped out

Prithviraj Sukumaran was replaced by Tovino Thomas in Neelavelicham and Soubin Shahir in Ayalvaashi

Neelavelicham, Ayalvaashi initially had Prithviraj Sukumaran in the lead, here’s why the actor dropped out
Tovino Thomas, Soubin Shahir and Prithviraj Sukumaran

Last Updated: 03.02 PM, Apr 17, 2023


Two of the bigger Eid releases in Malayalam this week – Aashiq Abu’s Neelavelicham and Irshad Parari’s Ayalvaashi – were first announced with superstar Prithviraj Sukumaran in the lead. But since then, both movies have undergone a major overhaul in terms of its casting, with the pandemic affecting the shooting schedules.

Neelavelicham, which was announced in 2020, was supposed to have Prithviraj and Kunchacko Boban in the roles that are currently essayed by Tovino Thomas and Roshan Mathew. However, with the shoot of the movie delayed and Prithviraj being caught between the uncertain schedules of Blessy’s Aadujeevitham and Dijo Jose Antony’s Jana Gana Mana, the actor had to step out of the project.

In an earlier interview with OTTplay, Aashiq said, “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.” Incidentally, Asif Ali was cast as Kunchacko’s replacement, but the actor too had to drop out and this resulted in Roshan Mathew coming onboard.


Meanwhile, Irshad Parari’s Ayalvaashi was first announced back in 2019 with both Prithviraj and brother Indrajith Sukumaran set to play the two lead characters. Prithviraj was also supposed to produce the movie, a rooted-to-reality story.

However, the pandemic delayed the shoot of the movie with Prithviraj also getting busy with his commitments. Irshad, who had worked with the actor as an associate director in his debut directorial Lucifer, told us that Prithviraj had offered the option to him to go ahead with another actor as the project kept getting pushed. “Ayalvaashi didn’t need a superstar for its content to work,” said Irshad, who is making his directorial debut with the movie.

This was what prompted Irshad to take the project to Soubin Shahir and Binu Pappu, who now play the two leads in the movie that is set to hit theatres on April 21. Coincidentally, Soubin was also supposed to be part of Neelavelicham but had to drop out and was eventually replaced by Shine Tom Chacko in the movie.

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