Tamil director Shankar’s search for a high-profile actor to play the main antagonist in his sequel to Enthiran, starring superstar Rajinikanth, had created a lot of buzz in Indian film industry. The director finally zeroed in on Bollywood’s Khiladi Akshay Kumar to play the baddie. However, Akshay was not Rajinikanth’s first choice for the role.
Known for making films on a grand scale, Shankar had tried to rope in Hollywood superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger to play the baddie in his big-ticket sci-fi movie. Indian audience even had high hopes to see the Hollywood icon in a desi film, when Arnold flew down to Chennai to attend the audio release function of Shankar’s I in 2014.
It is a fair guess to say, Enthiran’s Chitti was inspired by the Terminator character, played by Arnold. However, Shankar had to drop his dream of casting the Hollywood star owing to budget and other logistical reasons.
Now the latest buzz is that while Shankar was busy pursuing his international options, Rajinikanth had pitched a well-known Kollywood actor for the coveted role. Actor Sarathkumar on Monday claimed that he was Rajinikanth’s first choice to play the main antagonist in the film.
“Rajinikanth sir called me to ask whether I would be interested in playing the antagonist in ‘2.0’. And I was happy to accept the offer,” he said, according to an Indiaglitz report.
He added, however, Shankar turned down Rajinikanth’s proposal as the director wanted to cast an actor from Hollywood or Bollywood to add to the international appeal of the film. Previously, Sarathkumar had shared screen space with Rajinikanth in India’s first motion capture film, Kochadaiyaan, which was directed by Soundarya Rajinikanth.
Meanwhile, the Enthiran team is expected to resume the work this week after a small break. According to reports, Akshay and Amy Jackson will join Rajinikanth in Chennai for shooting.
The film is bankrolled by Lyca Productions and Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman will score music for the film. The film is slated to be released in early 2017.