It is about two and a half years since former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa, passed on. She began her career as an actress, and made the leap into politics where she served a whopping five terms as Chief Minister over a span of 16 years. Over the past few months, biopics on Jayalalithaa have been springing up like mushrooms after rain. Here are 6 biopics on the former Chief Minister to look forward to.
The Iron Lady
The Iron Lady is director Priyadhaarshini’s offering to the Tamil audience. Nithya Menen was roped in to play Jayalalithaa in the film. The film is currently in pre production stages, and filming is set to begin soon.
“I know I am technically sound and the film will be made on par with international biopics like Abraham and Margaret Thatcher’s The Iron Lady,” Priyadaarshini shared in an interview.
The young director also plans to address the controversies surrounding Jayalalithaa’s life with dignity. “We have treated this psychologically. A man can be in politics. But when a woman enters it, she might have to do certain things to keep herself in a certain spot. She might not be the person we know her to be in real life. Jayalalithaa did and behaved in a certain way to protect herself.”
The Iron Lady is set to release on the 20th of February 2020.
Gautham Menon’s web series
Gautham Menon will be shooting a three season web series on Jayalalithaa’s life. “The shoot for the first season is currently progressing in AVM Studios, Chennai. Gautham Menon is planning to shoot ten episodes for the first season,” reveals a source close to the unit.
One of the best actresses of our time, Ramya Krishnan, has been cast as Jayalalithaa. “On earlier occasions, many journalists have asked me about my dream role — I didn’t have an answer then. But now I can say that I want to portray Jayalalithaa madam, and that is the dream role I would want to have in my career,” Ramya told the Deccan Chronicle in an interview.
Actor Prithviraj’s older brother, Indrajith will be playing MG Ramachandran while actor Vamsi has been cast as Shoban Babu, Jayalalithaa’s close ally in her political career. Whispers in the Tamil film industry say that Gautham has got several lesser known anecdotes on Jayalalithaa through her close friends and associates.
This Jayalalithaa biopic is the second most expensive Indian web series produced, after the Saif Ali Khan starrer, The Sacred Games. A firm believer of newer forms of entertainment, Gautham appears to be moving on to directing web series as they are not beholden to the conservative Indian censor board.
This yet to be titled web series will be released on Times of India’s upcoming OTT platform.
Thaai: Puratchi Thalaivi
In 2017, producer Adithya Bharadwaj announced that his team were over a year into pre-production work for a proposed biopic of Jayalalithaa. His film is cleverly titled Thaai: Puratchi Thalaivi, Jayalalithaa’s title throughout her political career. Bharadwaj revealed that the film will include real life footage of the late Chief Minister.
Unfortunately, the filming did not take off in January 2018 as he had hoped due to unknown reasons.
Interestingly, as news surfaced about the other biopics of Jayalalithaa, Bharadwaj issued a statement saying he has signed on acclaimed director Bharathiraja to work on the film. He also added that the team were considering Aishwarya Rai or Anushka Shetty for the role of Jayalalithaa, while it was between Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal for the role of M. G. Ramachandran.
It is unclear when Thaai: Puratchi Thalaivi will hit the screens.
Popular director AL Vijay, the man behind Madrasapattinam and Deiva Thirumagal announced that he will be directing a biopic on Jayalalithaa, titled Thalaivi. He released the first look poster on her second death anniversary late last year.
Recent reports have suggested that Hindi actress Kangana Ranaut will be starring in Thalaivi as Jayalalithaa. Of course, this announcement was met with heavy criticism as hardcore South Indians were offended that the director chose to cast a North Indian actress as the former Chief Minister.
Vijay, however, remains unfazed and is proceeding with the project. It is rumoured that Varalaxmi Sarathkumar will also play a role in the film.
Thalaivi is set to hit the screens on the 20th of February 2020.
Sasilalitha is a film that will depict the relationship of Jayalalithaa and her aide Sasikala. directed by K Jagadeeswara Reddy.
Sasikala is currently serving a 4 year prison sentence as she was found guilty of conspiring, laundering and amassing illicit wealth in the 1990s in a criminal conspiracy with Jayalalithaa.
The director is reportedly trying to rope in actresses Kajol and Amala Paul for the roles of Jayalalithaa and Sasikala respectively. Sasilalitha will be made in two parts, according to the director.
The film is currently in pre production stages, and the cast and crew have yet to be announced.
Jayalalithaa’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran, who is also a politician in Tamil Nadu will be producing another biopic on Jayalalithaa. Dhinakaran’s nephew Jeyananth Dhivakaran took to social media to announce that Lingusamy is working on a script with authentic information on Jayalalithaa for a biopic.
Reports suggest that Lingusamy wants Nayanthara to play Jayalalithaa. It is unclear if Nayanthara has agreed to this project.
It is fantastic that filmmakers are scrambling to make movies about strong women, we hope they do justice by Jayalalitha!
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