Suresh Productions that has bagged the rights to remake Dhanush’s `Asuran’ in Telugu. Playing the lead role will be Venkatesh. But though Venkatesh over the years has been more well-known for his family dramas with a comic touch, his brother and senior producer Suresh Babu does not feel he will be a misfit in the role.
“Yes, Venky has an urban image. But he is taking this role (of Sivasami in Tamil played by Dhanush) as a challenge. Just like he did with `Guru’. As an actor, he wants to discover himself. And here is an opportunity for him. Normally people would not write such roles for him but now something has come on a platter,” Suresh Babu told Filter Kaapi.
Suresh Babu also points to movies like `Chanti’ and `Chinarayudu’ in Venkatesh’s film CV and says “we want a poorer version of Venky from those movies”.
The movie is based on Poomani’s much-acclaimed novel Vekkai. K Dhanu of V Creations that produced `Asuran’, told Filter Kaapi that Venkatesh is very excited about the role.
“In fact, he has already begun prepping for the role,” said Dhanu from Chennai.
The highlight of `Asuran’, easily one of the best movies this year, was how the caste factor was woven into the narrative.
“I see it as a family action movie, a revenge film with layers of the caste angle. It is the clash between the rich and the poor, the mighty versus weak. One colour of this clash is caste, the fight against domination. We have spoken about fight for the oppressed castes in movies like Venkatesh in `Jayam Manade Raa’ and Rana in `Leader’. In `Asuran’, caste is not spoken about in the movie but it is there everywhere,” says Suresh.
Suresh Babu has witnessed caste-related violence, that is depicted in Asuran, first hand. In July 1985, in a clash between Scheduled castes and Kamma landlords in Karamchedu in Andhra Pradesh from where his family hails, six SCs were killed and 20 others injured. While the main accused was killed in retaliation, another was given life imprisonment by the Supreme court.
“As a society we are not sensitive to the problem. One day, it went wrong in my village. Maybe it was simmering for a few weeks before that. The people who were affected were people who looked after me when I was young,” recalls Suresh Babu.
`Asuran’ has a strong Tirunelveli slang embedded in the screenplay but the Telugu remake is undecided about rooting it very strongly in a particular area.
“We are identifying two-three areas but we will not keep the slang so that the movie has a pan-Andhra appeal. But the movie will be set in either Chittoor, Palnadu or Rayalaseema,” says Suresh.
Even though the movie has appeared on the Amazon Prime streaming platform, the Telugu team is not worried about its impact on the remake.
One of the highlights of `Asuran’ was its deft direction by Vetrimaaran which is why it has taken so long for the Telugu production team to zero in on a director with the same sensibilities. Even though several names were doing the rounds, Suresh Babu has finalised Srikanth Addala to helm Asuran’s Telugu remake. He has the experience of working with Venkatesh in `Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu’ besides directing Mahesh Babu in two movies `Brahmatosavam’.
Suresh Productions is expected to make the official announcement on Monday even as the jury is out on whether Addala will be able to pull off a complicated subject like `Asuran’.