Monday, March 28, 2011

Its All Rumors About Rana

No other actors other than Rajinikanth and Deepika Padukone have been confirmed for Ranaa, says KS Ravi Kumar. The media has been reporting frantically that Asin, Rekha, Madhuri Dixit, Vidya Balan etc., are playing important roles in the film and later that these actresses have pulled out of the film for various reasons. Declining all this as mere rumors, KS Ravi Kumar has said that the media should only rely on official confirmation and not write news based on their own assumptions.

He added that he has not discussed the script with anyone till now and the star cast will be finalized very soon.


Gautham’s Hindi Vtv To Roll On April 4th

All the speculation surrounding the remake of Vinnaithanndi Varuvaaya in Hindi can be put to rest as it has been confirmed that the shooting will commence on April 4th. Prateik Babbar, son of Smita Patel and Raj Babbar, is to play the role played to perfection by Silambarasan in Tamil. Amy Jackson of Madrasapattinam fame will do Trisha’s role.

The project was delayed as Prateik was caught up with commitments to his Hindi film, Dhobi Ghat produced by Aamir Khan. But his dates are available now and he is also eager to begin shooting for VTV. Amy Jackson has spent the interim taking diction lessons in Hindi so that language will not be a barrier. AR Rahman has been roped in to do the music. The stage is all set for an encore of the phenomenal success of VTV.


Ponniyin Selvan To Make Magic

The Mani Ratnam-AR Rahman combination in the film industry has resulted in some magical music. The duo has come together once again for Ponniyin Selvan. The cast is yet to be finalized but AR Rahman, determined to do his best for Mani, has already completed five songs.

The tunes are said to be outstanding and Mani was moved by his gesture. He has approved the songs and is keen to begin shooting for them as he wants to make them memorable. This big-budget epic film also has Vijay, Mahesh Babu, Arya, and Sathyaraj in key roles. Santhosh Sivan will be wielding the camera.

Singapore Rocked By A.R. Rahman´s Marina Bay Concert!

As is known to meet the huge demand of tickets to music maestro AR Rahman's sold out four-day Singapore concert, more seats had to be added to the Marina Bay Sands Grand Theater.

As per reports, just before the concert, The 45-year-old multiple award-winning Chennai-born musician said his youngest child is a big fan of 'Toy Story 3'. And naturally, eight-year-old Ameen wanted "We belong Together' from 'Toy Story 3' to clinch the Best Original Song award, although his father's composition for Danny Boyle's adventure film '127 Hours', "If I Rise", was also nominated in the same category.

"He is still singing "We Belong Together", but I sing along too," quipped Rahman, when he met the Singapore press at the Marina Bay Sands Grand Theatre.

Needless to add that the 'Jai Ho' concert was a grand success and ended with his signature phrase, "Ellaappugazhum Iraivanukke"! (All Praise to God) to a roaring applause!

"No matter how big the stage, I take pride in saying this. This is my identity," said Rahman.

P.C. Sreeram roped in for ‘Ponniyin Selvan’

Guess who is the latest to join the Ponniyin Selvan crew? Ace camera man P.C. Sreeram! While director Mani Ratnam approached Sreeram for wielding the camera the director was struck by the in-depth knowledge the lens man had about the epic novel Ponniyin Selvan. Sreeram, who has read through the novel more than five or six times started categorizing each shot on how it can be filmed and which shots can be chromakeyed and so on.

Now Mani is really impressed with his team because he already has director Vasanth who has a good knowledge of the novel co-ordinating with him in the entire process of filming. Now with lens man P.C. Sreeram the team will only get better. Incidentally it was P.C. Sreeram’s mom, who is a great fan of the novel Ponniyin Selvan, who gifted the book to Sreeram.

There are also talks going on in some circles that since the novel is too huge to be completed as a single film, so the makers might be planning at least a couple of sequels with different heroes in each sequel, but the fact remains to be seen regarding this. Whatever might be the case ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ which will start the filming session soon will have Vijay as the hero. There are also talks that Sathyaraj might get to play the role of Buddha Bikku in the film. But nothing has been confirmed regarding this.

The director is taking much care in picking up artists for each character in the film. We will bring you more updates regarding the progress of ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ as and when it happens!

“Difference between Endhiran and Nanban”, Shankar says

shankar-22-03-2011 Endhiran filming was different from Nanban”, the talented director Shankar says. Presently he is busy canning the shots of Nanban in Dehradun with Vijay, Jiiva, Srikanth, Sathyaraj and Ileana. Shankar is happy about the way the film is shaping up and he says that he enjoys every minute of it especially shooting with Vijay and Sathyaraj. He adds that it is a rejuvenating experience for him working with these stars who have almost becomes the characters of the film. “It is certainly a different experience from Endhiran and I am enjoying every second of it”, Shankar furthers.

AR Rahman 'to take action over Slumdog use'

AR Rahman has said that he will take legal action against a soft drinks company that used one of his tracks without permission.

The advert, which features leading star Katrina Kaif, uses the refrain from 'Latika's Theme' from the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, the Times of India claims.

Commenting on the situation, Bhushan Kumar from record company T-series explained: "In normal circumstances, we don't have to ask for permission from composers, but with Rahman it is on a royalty basis, so he was informed, but his office wasn't and they contacted us."

Kumar told the newspaper that the situation with the composer had now been resolved.

"All these misunderstandings have been sorted out as we have told them that in the near future when we are in talks with any company for any of Rahman's tracks we will keep them in the loop. Things are fine now."

AR Rahman followed up his success on Danny Boyle's film by collaborating with international music star Kylie Minogue.

Puneeth Rajkumar film to have music by A.R. Rahman

 Puneeth Rajkumar film to have music by A.R. Rahman

The most exciting news that came on the eve of Power Star Puneeth Rajkumar's birthday on Tuesday? Actor-director Gurudatha, a good family friend of the Rajkumar family, will be producing a film to be directed by Gautham Menon with Puneeth as hero!

A few months ago, Puneeth Rajkumar had bared his intentions of working with some great technicians. "I don’t wish to go and work in other language films to work with top rated directors. I would rather try to get them work with me for Kannada films,” Puneeth Rajkumar had said. Now, with top director Gautham Menon making a Puneeth Rajkumar film, it looks that the actor has started to improve commercial Kannada films’ content by getting the best directors to make Kannada films.

But what makes this project more exciting? Gautham may rope in A.R. Rahman or Harris Jeyaraj to compose music for this project if everything goes as per his plans. Gautham is close to A.R. Rahman and both have mutual respect for each other. Getting Rahman to work in South Indian films has now become a tall order after he got two Oscar awards and got involved in international projects, but that may not be impossible, say sources in the Tamil film industry.

Mani Ratnam to launch Rahman`s biography April 6

A.R. Rahman's fans will soon be able to get an insight into the music maestro's life through his biography 'A.R. Rahman: The Spirit of Music' penned by renowned writer Nasreen Munni Kabir.

The book, which provides a fascinating window into the world of the Mozart of Madras, will be launched by filmmaker Mani Ratnam April 6.

'It is indeed a rare honour to publish this book. A.R. Rahman's journey, like that of most great artists, is one that moves and inspires. Nasreen Munni Kabir has recorded this journey, over the last three years. This book also has a CD with A.R. Rahman's compositions for free distribution with the first edition,' Ajay Mago, publisher, Om Books International said in a statement.

Rahman started his career by composing commercials for cinema and television until he got his big break in Ratnam's 1991 film 'Roja'. After that, there was no looking back for the composer.

The 45-year-old is the first Indian composer to win two Academy Awards for the 2008 blockbuster 'Slumdog Millionaire'. He also walked away with two Grammy awards for the same movie.

Imtiaz Ali shoots ‘Rockstar’ in Kashmir

For his forthcoming venture ‘Rockstar’, Imtiaz Ali has chosen the Paradise Of India, Kashmir, as one of its shooting locales. A part of the film is being shot in Pahalgam, a famous tourist spot. The filmmaker was recently joined by the Mozart of Music AR Rahman, who was on a two-day visit to the Valley, to compose songs for the film.

Surprisingly Rahman replaced composer Pritam who usually had been in Ali’s team. Pritam had composed songs for the director’s earlier ventures - ‘Jab We Met’ and ‘Love Aaj Kal’.

As per common belief of the film industry, Kashmir is considered as an unsecured place for shooting, due to regular political and anti-social issues. However, Imtiaz felt that the beautiful state is just a victim of media hype and filmmakers should come to Kashmir and capture its beauty in their films. Said Imtiaz to sources, "I think the media is playing up the negative aspect of the situation in Kashmir more than the positive side of the valley. My experience is that Kashmir is the most beautiful and highly peaceful place."

The director further added that when the film’s team landed there the Police and people were quite co-operative and helped them. Whole film unit comprised of 150 people said to have moved at the hospitality of the Kashmiri people.

On the other hand, Rahman remarked, "Kashmir is a paradise and a boon to Bollywood."

‘Rockstar’ stars Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri in the lead. The film is slated for release on 8th July 2011.

Amitabh Bachchan to do cameo in Rajinikanth's Rana

Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth at the music launch of Robot in MumbaiSuperstars Rajnikanth and Amitabh Bachchan will be finally sharing the screen space after 20 years, as Amitabh will be appearing in Rajinikanth's Rana for a cameo role.

The latest buzz is that Amitabh will be seen in a few scenes in the second half of the film. But other details about his character have been kept under wraps.

Following the phenomenal success of Robot, Superstar Rajnikanth is slated to begin work on K S Ravikumar's Tamil action epic, Rana where he will be seen doing a triple role.

It is rumoured that the Deepika will be cast opposite a young Rajni, Vidya will be opposite a middle-aged Rajni and Rekha opposite an old Rajni.

Rajnikanth and Amitabh have been good friends for long time and in the past they have done Bollywood films like Andha Kanoonand Giraftar. The last time the two legends shared the screen space was in Late Director Mukul Anand's Hum in 1991.

Charles Darby will be the technical director of the film while Ratnavelu who had also worked on Robot will be the Director of Photography. Oscar award winner A R Rahman will render the music for the movie. Rajnikanth's daughter Soundarya is jointly producing the movie with Eros International

Why Mani Ratnam Wants Sathyaraj

Mani Ratnam is busy with the groundwork of Ponniyin Selvan as he wants to commence the shooting very soon. The ace director is finalizing the actors for important roles and there are rumors that he has Vijay on board already.

The latest about Ponniyin Selvan is that Mani is planning to rope in Sathyaraj for a very important role. Our enquiries in Kollywood revealed that the veteran actor is being considered to play the role of Buddha Bikku, the Sri Lankan ascetic. It is a very significant character in Ponniyin Selvan and Mani feels that only Sathyaraj can essay this role perfectly.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rajini chooses Deepika over Himalayas

It is only on rare occasion that a superstar of such a global stature will make changes in their schedule. And Rajinikanth has proved yet again that he will be always well ahead in being humble.

According to sources Rajini put aside his usual trip to Himalayas just for the sake of Bollywood’s tall dimpled beauty Deepika Padukone. It’s the regular practice of the superstar to visit the holy place once he completes every film. But this time he made an exception in his plan by postponing his trip because Deepika didn’t have enough dates for his next 3D live action animation adventure flick ‘Raana’.

It is said that the actress has a tight schedule, shooting for Prakash Jha's ‘Aarakshan’ followed by next projects with Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Kumar and John Abraham. Owing to these various commitments, it was not possible for Deepika to include Raana’s shooting. As a result, ‘Raana’ which was planned to be shot in one continuous stretch has now modified its schedule and Rajini was most willing to change his plans.

Also, heard that in fact Rajini was really looking forward to work with Deepika that he adjusted his dates with the actress. Besides, the star was quite understanding towards her earlier commitments.

Wow, that was really wonderful from Rajini’s part… No wonder he’s rightly called The Superstar!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gautham Menon To Direct Parthipan

Yes, it is true! Director Gautham Menon and Parthipan are all set to work together and take the small screen by storm. The director is soon to make a serial with Parthepan as the protagonist. No, do not groan, for this is not going to be your regular cry fest mega serial. The serial will be a one of a kind detective series where Parthepan will play the lead and take the audience through the mysteries and adventures of a detective.

When contacted about it, Parthepan confirmed that it is true and that he and Gautham Menon spoke about this when they met at the Directors-40 event. The surprise doesn’t stop with this! The director has also managed to rope in Oscar winner AR Rahman to compose music for the title song! Gautham Menon, who will direct and produce the serial, has confirmed this news and said that an official announcement will be made soon. Look like three great personalities are making their small screen debut and we find this project exciting and hope we can review the series!

A R Rahman In Kashmir gallery

A R Rahman goes Kashmir

The Mozart of Music A R Rahman recently visited the Paradise Of India, Kashmir. He was there along with filmmaker Imtiaz Ali (‘Jab We Met’ and ‘Love Aaj Kal’ fame) to shoot for his forthcoming venture ‘Rockstar’. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri in the lead. Rahman was on a two-day visit to the Valley, to compose songs for the film.

Talking about the beautiful state, Rahman remarked to sources, "Kashmir is a paradise and a boon to Bollywood."

As per common belief of the film industry, Kashmir is considered as an unsecured place for shooting, due to regular political and anti-social issues. However, Imtiaz felt that the beautiful state is just a victim of media hype and filmmakers should come to Kashmir and capture its beauty in their films. Said Imtiaz to sources, "I think the media is playing up the negative aspect of the situation in Kashmir more than the positive side of the valley. My experience is that Kashmir is the most beautiful and highly peaceful place."

The director further added that when the film’s team landed there the Police and people were quite co-operative and helped them. Whole film unit comprised of 150 people said to have moved at the hospitality of the Kashmiri people.

A part of the film is being shot in Pahalgam, a famous tourist spot.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A.r Rahman, Sure-shot In Ponniyin Selvan

There is a huge buzz surrounding Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan. Kalki’s epic classic has captivated generations of Tamilians and continues to do so. Fans of his work are anxious to find out who will play the characters that are deeply ingrained in their hearts. So far Vijay, Mahesh Babu, Arya, and Anushka have been confirmed for the project.

In recent times, Mani and A.R Rahman have teamed up together to create memorable music and so it was believed that they would come together again for this mammoth undertaking. But there were reports that Rahman is far too busy with international projects to be a part of Ponniyin Selvan.

However, sources within Mani’s camp insist that it will be Rahman who will be doing the music. It must be remembered that Mani had wished to make Ayutha Ezhuthu without music but Rahman would not hear of it. He came up with some magnificent tunes and convinced Mani to include the songs in his movie. This time also the two legends will work together and hopefully the results will do the Tamil film industry proud.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jai Ho fever hits S'pore

He has gained an international audience with his smash hit "Jai Ho" from the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

And it looks like the "Jai Ho" fever for singer-composer A R Rahman has not died down. At least two of his four-nights-only concerts in Singapore are already sold out.

This will be A R Rahman's second performance in Singapore. His first show here was in 2005.

He said: "Last time, the show was exciting, but was all over the place. This is more theme-oriented. Because it's a journey home tour, it portrays the spirituality, the youth, romanticism and the freedom fighting kind of era and modern India.

"This world tour started after the Oscars, two years back, and I wanted to travel and give a show that is very universal - that every person, regardless of language or nationality, can relate to - the music - so we had a very international crew."

To be held at the Grand Theatre at Marina Bay Sands, his show here promises to be more intimate.

The singer-composer said: "We had to tone down the show, because it's a 2,000 seater, all the other shows were like 18,000. We had to make the stage a bit smaller, but it's going to be intimate and nice."

On his future plans, the composer revealed he is now working in an animation film with Dreamworks.

Working with other popular American singers is also a possibility.

He said: "Some of them are really good - Rihanna's good, and Lady Gaga is a good singer too. ... Anything can happen, you may be sitting somewhere in Los Angeles over lunch, some of the biggest decisions are made like that over the table."

The stage is set - the audience will be entertained by some 23 songs. Ticket prices range from S$95 to about S$600 per seat.

"Jai Ho : The Journey Home World Tour" will run from Thursday till Sunday.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ar Rahman In Singapore

The double Oscar winner AR Rahman has been doing concerts at several countries as part of his world tour and the upcoming one is in Singapore. The maestro will be doing four shows in Singapore starting on 17th March and ending on the 20th. The event has been titled 'Rahman's Jai Ho Concert' and the tickets have sold out like hot cakes.

The concert will take place at The Marine Drive overlooking the Marina Bay Sands and the Mozart of Madras is very happy with the venue that he has clicked pictures and expressed his pleasure about the picturesque locale. AR Rahman whose upcoming projects include the Hindi Film Rockstar, Raana and Ponniyin Selvan. We cannot wait for Rahman to journey back home and do a concert for his Indian fans.

A. R. Rahman Launches Kulla Nari Koottam

The music release of Kullanari Kootam was a low–key affair. A. R. Rahman, Academy award winner released the audio in his own studio. Director- Sri Balaji, hero-Vishnu, producer – Aashish Jain and Lakshmanan who is handling the camera were present.

The music is composed by Selva Ganesh, who made an impressive debut in Vennila Kabbadi Kuzhu. He said it was a great honor to have the great man release his album. The Mozart of Madras was very encouraging and the Kullanari Kootam team was thrilled to be with him.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Best Wishes To Ar Rahman!

The Mozart of Madras has always been in news for his accomplishments and has had congratulatory messages pouring in from all corners. But today, on his wedding anniversary, we send him our best wishes. AR Rahman is married to Saira Bhanu and has three children Khatija, Rahima and Ameen. His wife, clad in lovely Indian wear, had accompanied him to his Hollywood red carpet appearances notably the Academy Awards in 2009 where Rahman won two Oscars for his work in the film Slumdog Millionaire.

Rahman has managed to keep his family and personal life away from the limelight but that hasn't stopped us from noticing the talents his children possess. Ameen and Khatija have rendered a few lines for the film Couples Retreat and Endhiran respectively. On this special day, we take the opportunity to wish Rahman for a personal reason rather than the usual professional one and also wish him much more success.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Anushka and Mahesh Babu in Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan

Mahesh Babu and Anushka are pairing up again. After the disastrous Khaleja, Anushka and Mahesh are roped into play the lead roles in Mani Ratnam’s historical movie Ponniyin Selvan.
Anushka and Mahesh Babu in Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan
Mani Ratnam has been looking for suitable lady that has the queenly charm and glamour too. Anushka fits the bill perfectly and when the genius director called upon her she readily accepted to be a part of it.

Ponniyin Selvan is a high budget with the historical backdrop and will be made in Tamil and Telugu simultaneously. Tamil actors Vijay and Arya are zeroed in to play the other important roles. Stay tuned for further details about this film.

Shankar and Hariharan set to create fusion & fireworks

It was the year 1992. A R Rahmanwas looking for a singer for his number Thamizha Thamizha for the movie Roja. After considering a number of singers, he flew down to Mumbai to sign Hariharan, who was well-known for his album, Hariharan in Concert, a collection of ghazals.

Legend has it that it was the first and last time Rahman sought out a singer. That song as rendered by Hariharan also become the patriotic core of the movie and overnight he was thrown into the limelight.

From 6pm on March 15, Coimbatoreans can lose themselves to the music of Hariharan who will appear live along with composer-singer Shankar Mahadevan in concert, a first for the city. Crowds can expect to be delighted with Shankar Mahadevan's vocal range too. He will perhaps be looking for opportunities to complement his co-singer.

Hariharan and Shankar Mahadevan have a lot in common. Both hail from Tamil-speaking Iyer families. While Hariharan was the first Indian act on MTV with his album Colonial Cousins. Shankar Mahadevan has composed music at a time when most of his audience is already hooked on to music from across the world. And, both have transcended the south and established a reputation for themselves up north. Both are regulars at awards functions including the national awards.

But it will be the southern flavour in the artists that will come to the fore at the Coimbatore concert. The city, which is a happy combination of the spiritual, the materialistic, entrepreneurship and education, will rock to the music of two of the country's peppiest stars.

Both Hariharan and Shankar Mahadevan said they have performed in Coimbatore before and they knew the crowds and the city very well. "We share a good rapport and expect to gel well," they said. "The line-up of the songs is a secret. We have to keep the element of surprise going," Hariharan said.

However, as the audience is a Tamil crowd, most of the songs will be in Tamil peppered with only a few songs in Hindi. "We expect a robust turnout," Shankar Mahadevan told The Times of India. The event will happen at VOC Grounds in Coimbatore. Comfortable seating arrangements have been made for everyone. Hassle-free parking arrangements too have been made. You can collect free passes for the event at The Times of India offices in Puliyakulam Road and Race Course Road.

Vasanth to assist Mani Ratnam

Hot on the heels of Anushka joining the cast of 'Ponniyin Selvan' there is news of a reputed director joining the crew as an associate to Mani Ratnam.

Director Vasanth who was not heard after his last film 'Saththam Podathey' is joining Mani Ratnam to work in the upcoming historical film. Vasanth is known for memorable films like 'Keladi Kanmani' and 'Aasai'. He is the director who introduced Suriya on screen

The addition of Vasanth will only add strength to Mani Ratnam as both are voracious readers and have gone deep into the soul of the novel ‘Ponniyin Selvan’. Moreover a reputed independent director joining another director to assist in a film is not new nowadays. Director Shankar too had many independent directors to help him while he was doing ‘Sivaji’.

More details on Mani’s film

Mani Ratnam’s yet-to-be-started ‘magnum opus’, which is said to be inspired by Tamil’s much celebrated novel Ponniyin Selvan by Kalki, is getting more additions each passing day.

A day after it was said that Arya would be part of this multicrore multistarrer, we have it now that Anushka, who is making waves in Kollywood and Tollywood simultaneously, has also been roped in for this project.

“Anushka has signed on the dotted lines. She is playing a very crucial role in this film. Others who had been finalised for the project so far are Vijay, Mahesh Babu and Arya,” say sources.

A bilingual, the film will be produced by Mani’s Madras Talkies. However, plans are on to join hands with other production houses at a later stage. “It is still a question that whether the movie would be in historic background or Mani would give the script a contemporary look,” sources add.

Arya adds one more

The stars are shining bright in the land of Arya. What else would you say when even as the news of Mani Ratnam signing him still hot, the hunky Arya has bagged another big film to be directed by Boopathy Pandian.

Boopathy Pandian who is known for high level entertaining films like ‘Thiruvilaiyadal Arambam’ and ‘Malaikottai’ has finalized Arya for his next. The yet to be titled film will be on the floors soon.

“The new film is going to be completely different experience for Arya with full of action and comedy” says the director.

Anushka in Mani's next!

Anushka in Mani's next!

Sreedhar Pillai,TNN,Mar 12, 2011, 12.00am IST

The wheel has come a full circle. India's best-known director Mani Ratnam is back to his roots, doing pre-production and casting work for his new period film in Tamil, Ponniyin Selvan. And, the big breaking news is that Anushka, currently south India's number one heroine, has signed up to play the all-important female lead in the film!

A source close to Anushka confirmed the news and said, "Yes, Sweety (as she is known) has signed Mani sir's epic classic and is thrilled to do it. She has allotted bulk dates for the project. She has to complete two Telugu projects in the next four to five months, and then join Ponniyin Selvan, where she will sport an all-new look."

The ace director wanted big Tamil superstars to do the three important male lead roles in the film.

Initially, there was talk that Vikram, Vijay and Suriya would do the project, but that fell through. A source close to the development said, "Even Mani sir found it difficult to bring them together for a joint narration to hear the script, leave alone doing a full-fledged film! As of now, Vijay, Arya and Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu have agreed to do the film." The grapevine has it that while Vijay will play the courageous warrior Vallavarayan Vandiyatheyan, Mahesh Babu is likely to play King Aditha Karikalan. The role of Arulmozhi Varman (who later becomes Raja Raja Chozha), which was initially slated to be done by Vikram, will now be played by Arya.

Mani sir, as he is affectionately called, is at last, back to doing what he does best — making Tamil movies inspired by real-life events and famous epics. His dream project, Ponniyin Selvan, which is based on the most popular novel of modern Tamil literature penned by celebrated writer Kalki Krishnamurthy, is a fictionalised account of the life of Chola King Raja Raja 1.

It is almost nine years since the filmmaker did a pure Tamil film. The last few years, he has been trying to enter Bollywood by doing films like Yuva, Guru and Raavan, which failed to evoke the kind of critical acclaim or box-office success that his earlier Tamil films like Nayagan, Roja and Bombay enjoyed.

Mani Ratnam, we understand, is writing the script in association with noted writer Jayamohan. There have also been reports that Kamal Haasan, who tried many years ago to make Ponniyin Selvan, recommended some writers to Mani to improve the script. The Ponniyin Selvan team will include Mani's favourites like A R Rahman, Santosh Sivan, Sabu Cyril and Sreekar Prasad.

CT understands that Mani Ratnam's production house will produce the film at the moment. Other production houses are likely to step in at a later date. The film's shoot will commence in October, after the director completes pre-production work. Ponniyin Selvan is expected to be a big-budget (` 75 to 100 crore) project and will be made in Tamil and Telugu.