Soon after the former Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa passed away, several filmmakers and writers announced that they will be chronicling the life of the politician right from her childhood to her life in politics and death. Despite several announcements, only three filmmakers have managed to start work while the others have ended up shelving their projects.
Madrasapattinam and Deivathirumagal director AL Vijay is directing the biopic titled Thalaivi. Kangana Ranaut plays Jayalalithaa in the film and Aravind Swami plays MGR. The film is being bankrolled by Vishnu Vardhan Induri and Shaailesh R Singh under their Vibri Motion Pictures and Karma Media & Entertainment banners. The film commenced shoot on 11 November 2019 and is all set for release on 26 June 2020.
Journey of #Thalaivi begins here.
Being filmed in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu #Thalaivi stars #KanganaRanaut and #ArvindSwamy #DirectorVijay@KanganaTeam@ShaaileshRSingh
#VijayendraPrasad @rajatsaroraa @vishinduri @thalaivimovie @BrindaPrasad1@neeta_lulla@VishalVittal@MNigotre pic.twitter.com/c5WQ3J5tSe
— VIBRI (@vibri_media) November 11, 2019
The first look poster and teaser of the film were recently released, and it got mixed reactions from audiences, critics and the film fraternity. Thalaivi is being filmed in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu simultaneously. Babumoshai Bandookbaaz fame Vishal Vittal will be handling cinematography, GV Prakash will compose music along with Sanchit Balhara and Ankit Balhara for the background score, Rangasthalam fame Ramakrishna Sabbani and Monika Nigotre Sabbani will handle production design and Ballu Saluja and Anthony will work on the editing.
At the beginning of the year, Deepa Jayakumar, Jayalalithaa’s niece had filed a case against the makers of Thailaivi stating that they hadn’t taken permission from the family members before they began work on the film. In response to this, AL Vijay had mentioned that an NOC was granted by her brother Deepak Jayakumar after which the pre-production began.
Recently, a dance rehearsal video of Kangana was released by the makers where she was found practicing Bharatnatyam for the role essayed in the film.
#KanganaRanaut trains hard to perfect her Bharatanatyam moves for the film @Thalaivi@KanganaTeam #ShaaileshRSingh @vishinduri #DirectorVijay @BrindaPrasad1 @TSeries @vibri_media #ThalaiviDiaries pic.twitter.com/S5mYBFedtm
— VIBRI (@vibri_media) November 27, 2019
A Priyadarshini, a former assistant of director Mysskin, has also announced her debut film, which is a biopic on Jayalalithaa called The Iron Lady. Initially, speculations were rife that Varalaxmi Sarathkumar will essay JJ since director AR Murugadoss, had revealed the title poster and had tagged Varalaxmi. Later on, the makers revealed that actress Nithya Menen will headline the film and that Varalaxmi would play the role of Jayalalithaa’s long-time friend and companion Sasikala.
Although the makers of the film, Papertale Productions, made the announcement in August 2018 after Independence Day, it was confirmed by the director only on the politician’s birthday this February. The film is tentatively set to hit screens on 20 February 2020.
#OFFICIAL #THEIRONLADY #JJayalalithaabiopic to hit screens on worldwide “20-2-2020” #Amma2020#HBDAmma #HappyBirthdayamma#Jayalalithaa #HBDJayaLalithaa #AMMA71 #NithyaMenenasJayalalithaa @priya_prod @MenenNithya @priyadhaarshini @onlynikil@nikkilnews #TamilNadu #அம்மா pic.twitter.com/6NZOdZzv4Y
— A Priyadhaarshini (@priyadhaarshini) February 24, 2019
While the technical crew and cast of the film are yet to be announced, fans and film enthusiasts have been awaiting announcements from the makers regarding the status of the film. In response, the director had recently let out a press release about the film. She mentioned that the pre-production phase is being worked on slowly and carefully since it would deal with the leader’s life over six decades, right from her childhood to her hospital days. She also mentioned that the crew information will be revealed at the right time.
It is necessary to wait to fully understand the logic & reason I hold for the timing of the reveal. Your expectations are sure to be met with every step that we are to take. #PressRelease #THEIRONLADY @MenenNithya @onlynikil #JJayalalithaabiopic #Jayalalithaa #Amma #NithyaMenen pic.twitter.com/P4pNgZZK6L
— A Priyadhaarshini (@priyadhaarshini) November 2, 2019
Gautham Vasudev Menon and Kidaari fame Prasath Murugesan are also making a teleseries Queen based on the politician for the OTT platform MX Player with actor Ramya Krishnan essaying the title role. Anikha Surendran will play the younger version and Anjana Jayaprakash will play the teenage JJ. While Indrajith Sukumaran has been roped in to play MGR, Gautham Vasudev Menon will also feature in a small role. Darbuka Siva will be composing music for the series while the rest of the technical crew is yet to be revealed.
Recently, the makers released the teaser of the series on Twitter and have decided to drop the trailer of the same tomorrow.
State Topper. Superstar Heroine. Youngest Chief Minister.
A gripping story of the QUEEN awaits you! #QueenIsComing@meramyakrishnan @menongautham @Murugesanprasad#Queen #MXOriginalSeries #MXPlayer #Ace2Three #FanFight pic.twitter.com/w8km3L2dWu
— MX Player (@MXPlayer) December 1, 2019
Queen will run for three seasons, with the first season running for eleven episodes. Sources close to the production told Silverscreen that the first season will dwell on JJ’s childhood and end with her entry into politics. It will talk about all the struggles she faced and how she unwillingly entered the film industry. “All the characters’ names have been altered carefully with no direct reference to any of the politicians,” added the source.
Silverscreen recently spoke to Gautham Vasudev Menon who said that his associate Reshma had penned the script. “It’s nice to bring my sensibilities to someone else’s writing,” he said. The series will be released in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and Bengali. The air date will be announced soon.
Watch the teaser here.