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Prithviraj Sukumaran’s Ayyappan is about Kerala’s own Dravidian spiritual warrior: Shanker Ramakrishnan

The filmmaker said that the works on the big budget film, which was first announced in 2018, will begin by end of this year

  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 05.55 AM, May 07, 2022

Prithviraj Sukumaran’s Ayyappan is about Kerala’s own Dravidian spiritual warrior: Shanker Ramakrishnan
Prithviraj Sukumaran

It’s been almost four years since writer-director Shanker Ramakrishnan had announced his big-budget project Ayyappan, which has Prithviraj Sukumaran in the lead role. In a recent interview, the Pathinettam Padi filmmaker revealed the movie has not been dropped and is very much on track.

The film, bankrolled by August Cinema, was expected to go on floors by Vishu in 2019 with plans of a 2020 release. In an interview with Kaumudy Movies, Shanker shared an update on the status of the film, saying that the main challenge for the movie was to get the dates of actors from all four South languages together.

He said that they were planning to begin shooting in 2020 but the film got delayed further due to the pandemic. The makers had initially said Ayyappan will focus on the character’s life as a prince and warrior, rather than as a deity.

Shanker maintains this stance, saying that it will not be a mythological film. “It’s not a mythological film. The movie is about Kerala’s own Dravidian spiritual warrior and it will be told realistically,” he said. “How his outlook shaped the people and the authority and how he handled the anti-social elements of his time and why all of this is still relevant is what we are trying to show through the film.”

Calling the film a “once-in-a-lifetime project”, the director said that he considered Pathinettam Padi, for which he roped in 65 new talents, as a workshop for Ayyappan. Currently, the plan is to begin work by November this year and to make the movie on a large canvas.

Prithviraj, meanwhile, will also be working on two more big films – Kaaliyan and Karachi 81 – before he joins Ayyappan. Shankar recently worked as the dubbing supervisor for the Malayalam version of KGF: Chapter 2, which was distributed in Kerala by Prithviraj Productions.