Will Indian 2 see Kamal Haasan reprise his role of Senapathi, made memorable in the original, and last the length of the movie? Sources in the know of things say that among the changes in the much-anticipated sequel is that the lead role will go to a younger actor. It is rumoured that Kamal will stop with playing an important role, but one that does not call for much screen time.
Already, producer Dil Raju backed out of the project after the producer of Indian A M Ratnam demanded a huge royalty for allowing use of the title. Later, Lyca Productions, which is working on director Shankar’s 2.0 and Kamal Haasan’s Sabaash Naidu took over the film.
The original, which released 22 years ago, tapped into the angst that middle class India felt about corruption and also took them on a nostalgic ride into pre-Independent India and the cost of much-coveted freedom. Kamal Haasan portrayed two characters – the father Senapathi, who is unyielding in his stand that he will stick to the moral path, even if it means his daughter dies in hospital because he refuses to pay a bribe, and the son Chandru, a brake inspector who does not think twice before bending his morals. Amrithavalli (Sukanya), Senapathi’s wife and a freedom fighter herself, is torn between her duty towards the country and love for her son.
Director Shankar’s deft touches, classy performances, technical wizardry and AR Rahman’s music saw the film become a blockbuster.
One reason being attributed to the change in the casting is because Kamal’s character, which promises to return in the original, will be 22 years older – he was already Indian Thatha in that film – adds the source. Apparently, Kamal’s character will serve as an inspiration to this new character, who will then take on the mantle of setting society on the right path.
While it is unclear if the buzz is true, it is learnt that a few actors were approached for the role, but things did not work out. “Also, Kamal will not be able to give the kind of time this project requires. We need at least 180 days, possibly spread over a year, and he’s already busy with the release of Vishwaroopam 2 and completing the much-delayed Sabaash Naidu. He’s into politics now, and seems keen on contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the elections to the State Assembly. He might not be able to allot that much time for a film now,” says a source close to the production house.