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Ponniyin Selvan: Did You Know? Vijay and Mahesh Babu were the first choices for Vanthiyathevan and Arunmozhi Varman

Writer Jeyamohan revealed that Vijay was Mani Ratnam's choice for the role for Vanthiyathevan, which eventually went to Karthi

Ponniyin Selvan: Did You Know? Vijay and Mahesh Babu were the first choices for Vanthiyathevan and Arunmozhi Varman
Vijay; (right) Mahesh Babu
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 03.03 PM, Sep 08, 2022


Mani Ratnam's most ambitious project, Ponniyin Selvan, the film adaptation of the epic novel of the same name penned by Kalki, is gearing up for worldwide release on September 30. The film, which has an ensemble cast, has Vikram playing Aditha Karikalan, Karthi as Vallavarayan Vanthiyathevan, Jayam Ravi as Arunmozhi Varman, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Nandini, the Queen of Pazhuvoor and Trisha as Princess Kundavai. 

But did you know that Thalapathy Vijay was the original choice to play Vanthiyathevan, the commander of the Chola Army? Mani Ratnam has been planning to work on the timeless classic for many years now and when he had tried to make the film years ago, his choices for the roles of Vanthiyathevan was Vijay and Arunmozhi Varman was Mahesh Babu. Arunmozhi Varman is the emperor, who later went on to become the powerful king Raja Raja Cholan: I and the novel revolves around his early days.

The film's co-writer B Jeyamohan had revealed the same in an interview to Galatta. In the video, which is doing the rounds on social media, he is seen saying that while Chiyaan Vikram remained Mani Ratnam's choice for Aditha Karikalan, he was initially planning to cast Vijay as Vanthiyathevan and Mahesh Babu as Arunmozhi Varman. His choice for the role of Queen Nandini remained Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. However, both Vijay and Mahesh Babu couldn't be part of the epic film and their roles eventually went to Karthi and Jayam Ravi respectively.

It was only recently that Superstar Rajinikanth, too, had revealed during the film's trailer and audio launch that he was interested in playing the character of Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar. He said that when he broached the idea to Mani Ratnam, the ace director had refused to cast him as he thought that Rajinikanth's fans wouldn't approve of him in the role. The role is now being played by Sarathkumar.