After his acclaimed Kannada movies Cyanide and Police Quarters, director AMR Ramesh is back with yet another film based on real life events.
As its name suggests, Veerappan's Attahaasa is about the rise and fall of the notorious forest brigand Veerappan.
Ramesh has been researching Veerappan for the past 11 years and has met several persons who were associated with the notorious sandalwood smuggler who terrorised forested regions in three states and was hunted for 20 years by police forces.
"I have met nearly 250 people in connection with the story. From IAS and IPS officers, an intelligence officer who survived an attack, renowned wildlife film makers Krupakar-Senani who were captives of the brigand's associates, and I have taken all their inputs," he said.
Among the people Ramesh interacted with is Mugilan, a close associate of the poacher. "He was with Veerappan for over four-and-a-half years. He was even jailed for this and later released. He will be with me through the making of the film."
STF officer Vijaykumar who is credited with masterminding the 'encounter' in which Veerappan was killed, was also consulted. In fact a character in the film is based on him, played by Arjun Sarja. Ravi Kale plays the role of Vijaykumar's trusted associate.
While the encounter scene is crucial to the plot, the film also tells the story of Veerapan's wife and why the couple's third child was killed and the killing of former minister Nagappa who was held hostage.
The kidnapping of veteran actor Rajkumar will also form a crucial part of the film. Bollywood actor Suresh Oberoi will essay his role. It will be Oberoi's first Kannada film.
Kishore, who has often played the part of a cop in Kannada films, has been cast as the anti-hero Veerappan. "The film will trace the life of a criminal and his inevitable ending. The geographical and political advantages that he enjoyed will be touched upon too," says Kishore.
The actor says he has been preparing for the role by accompanying Ramesh on his field trips. "We came across several versions of Veerappan's story. Ramesh has done a commendable job of collecting all the information and distilling the truth from it," he adds.
The film will be shot in Satyamangalam, Gajanur, M M Hills, Gadde Saalu, Dharmapuri and Hogenakkal Falls, which were all Veerappan's strong holds.