Ace director Maniratnam is on a casting spree. After roping in Vijay, Arya and Tollywood’s Mahesh Babu and Anushka to star in lead roles in his epic Ponniyin Selvan, he recently signed up Sathyaraj. Though there were reports that Sathyaraj will play a Buddhist Monk, the latest is that he will play the important role of Periya Pazhuvettaraiyar, the legendary lieutenant who stood as a great pillar of strength to successive Chola Kings.
The epic has so many major characters and it would test Maniratnam’s directorial instincts to the core as to whom to rope in to play which role. Those who have ready the epic novel would easily agree that there couldn’t have been a better choice to play the role of Periya Pazhuvettariyar than Sathyaraj. For the ageing actor, the role could well be a defining moment in his career.
The scripting over, Mani is now planning to go into the pre-production work and is busy seeking call-sheets from all the lead stars. Sathyaraj, who has been signed up for 60 days on-the-trot, is said to have been paid a whopping Rs.2 crores to play the role in the film, unconfirmed sources say. The first schedule of the film’s shooting is likely to take place in the legendary Mysore palace.