(Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

Eminent filmmaker Mani Ratnam has roped in seasoned actor Prakash Raj to play an important role in his upcoming magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan. Made under the banners of Madras Talkies and Lyca Productions, the big-ticket period drama is an adaptation of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s historical period based fictional novel of the same name.

Prakash Raj took to micro-blogging website Twitter to share the news that he has started shooting for the forthcoming film. “On the sets of Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan. A journey with the master which started 25 years back from Iruvar continues. The joy of unlearning, finding new horizons. Bliss and blessed,” wrote the talented actor.

Prakash Raj and Mani Ratnam first collaborated on the 1997 Tamil film Iruvar, a political drama which is also remembered for launching the acting career of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Interestingly, Ponniyin Selvan also features the former Miss World in a powerful role. The other cast members include Karthi, Vikram, Jayam Ravi, Ashwin Kakumanu, Aishwarya Lekshmi, and Mohan Babu.

The film went on floors in 2019 in Thailand, where the first schedule was filmed for over 90 days. Its shoot came to a grinding halt when India went into a complete lockdown in March 2020 in an attempt to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The team resumed shooting last week in a set built in Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad. The entire cast and crew got tested for Covid-19 before joining the sets to commence the shoot. It was after everybody tested negative for the virus that the team resumed shooting.

Oscar-winning music director AR Rahman is composing music for the much-awaited film. The film will have 12 songs. Ravi Varman is attached to it as cinematographer.

Ponniyin Selvan is expected to release towards the end of the year or early 2022.

Tags: Ponniyin Selvan, Prakash Raj, Mani Ratnam, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan