Bigger plans for Prithviraj-starrer Kaaliyan; shoot in October
The actor will join the historical action extravaganza after completing Aadujeevitham, Kaappa, and Vilayath Buddha this year
With South Indian biggies like KGF raising the benchmark on action spectacles, other regional filmmakers helming massive projects are aiming to up their game. Recently, there were reports of Pushpa-2 makers reshooting portions after the release of KGF-2. Taking this and various other factors into consideration, the team behind Prithviraj-starrer Kaaliyan is envisioning the film on a much bigger canvas than initially planned.
After the Kerala-based first round of auditions in Ernakulam on May 19 and 20, the team will move on to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. "The idea is to have a few known faces alongside many newcomers because we have noticed that, in films like KGF, even unknown faces get noticed despite their relatively small screen time," says production consultant Vipin Kumar.
Helmed by martial arts expert and former journalist S Mahesh and scripted by BT Anilkumar, Kaaliyan is being prepped as an "ultimate mass commercial entertainer". Vipin adds that "Kaaliyan will be an answer for those who always ask Prithviraj when Malayalam cinema will come out with something like KGF or Baahubali." However, Vipin clarifies that Kaaliyan cannot be called a "period film" in the vein of Baahubali or Pazhassi Raja. "It's an episode in the life of a man who lived in the 1600s. So it's a purely character-driven action extravaganza. And there is plenty of action! Aside from the titular character played by Prithviraj, the story contains many other strong characters (as in Game of Thrones)."
The project, bankrolled by Rajeev Govindan's Magic Mountain Cinemas, was announced four years ago, and since then, Prithviraj fans have been waiting with bated breath to hear an update on its commencement for a while. "We have been waiting for Aadujeevitham to get over," says Vipin. "As it is now in its final schedule and the shoot expected to be wrapped in a month, Prithviraj has confirmed his date for Kaaliyan. The other factor for the delay was the extensive pre-production needed for working on the action sequences and CGI elements. So although activities like location scouting happened parallelly, we couldn't move further without getting clarity on the shoot schedules."
Prithviraj will undergo an intense physical transformation post-Aadujeevitham and will shoot for Kaaliyan by October after completing director Venu's Kaappa and Jayan Nambiar's Vilayath Buddha, both based on the stories of author GR Indugopan.
The actor is also particular about shooting for Kaaliyan before he begins work on his Lucifer sequel Empuraan next year.
Director of photography Sujith Vaassudev, who shot Lucifer, is the only confirmed technical crew member of Kaaliyan presently. The rest of the team will be finalised soon.