Even as superstar Rajinikanth’s next film is all set to go on floors this month, the filmmakers have not revealed much about the project. Grapevine has been abuzz with the names of some leading female actors including Deepika Padukone, who were reportedly being considered for the lead role in the film, which is tentatively called Thalaivar 161. Bollywood actor Vidya Balan, however, was touted to be the top choice of the filmmakers.
Earlier, when Vidya was asked if she was part of the Rajinikanth-starrer, she had said, “We will know in a while.” Now, the latest buzz in the industry has suggested that she has walked out of the project due to date issues. The filmmakers have resumed their search for the leading lady once again, said reports.
Although Vidya has her roots in Kerala, she is yet to do a full-time south Indian film. Earlier, she came very close to making her debut in Malayalam with director Kamal’s Aami, a biopic on controversial writer Kamala Das. However, after initial preparation for playing the role, she backed out of the project without giving clear reasons. Speculations were rife that she quit the project due to the pressure from the right-wing groups. She was later replaced by actor Manju Warrier in the film. It seems like fans may have to wait a little longer to see Vidya in a south Indian film.
Thalaivar 161 will reunite the Kabali duo, Rajinikanth and director Pa. Ranjith. The film will be bankrolled by Dhanush’s home production banner Wunderbar Films and is expected to start rolling from the last week of May. On Saturday, music composer Santhosh Narayanan confirmed that he will be scoring the tune for the film. It will be his second Rajinikanth project after last year’s blockbuster Kabali.