Now that the hype over theTamil New Year releases is over, people have started talking about Shankar's next film, Anniyan. It stars National Award winner Vikram, and Sada.
Other than Vikram, there are two more National Award winning actors in Anniyan: Nedumudi Venu and Prakash Raj.
Anniyanis being touted as the costliest film ever made in South India, at an estimated Rs 30 crore. It is produced by Oscar Films' Ravichandran. Of course, Shankar has the reputation of making slick high budget films.
Noted art director Sabu Cyril has created the sets for Anniyan. He painted 350 houses in Thenkasi for a single song! The film also has a sequence with thousands of people singing at a kacheri, exactly like the Thyagaraja Aradhana conducted every year at Thiruvaiyaru where thousands of people congregate and sing carnatic music.
Like his other films, Anniyan too has a social angle; it is about a man who tries to bring about changes in society.
For the first time, a Shankar movie will not have music by A R Rahman. Harris Jayaraj has composed music for Anniyan. Manikandan (of Main Hoon Na fame) is the cinematographer.
Mammootty's sweet revenge
After Udayananu Tharam, the film running to packed houses in Kerala is Mammootty's Thommanum Makkalum (Thomman and sons). The film is produced by Lal (of Siddique-Lal fame), whose first production Thenkasi Pattinam was a hit.
Like Thenkasi Pattinam, Thommanum is also a masala film with all the ingredients necessary for commercial success, including comedy and action. For Mammootty, who has always been criticised as an actor with little flair for comedy, the success of Thommanum is sweet revenge.
John to direct Vikram in next
And like Sachein, it will be a love story. John feels it would be refreshing for Vikram as a performer and "definitely as a director for me."
"It will be different from the kind of films he (Vikram) has been doing," says John. "I will strike a balance in this film because Vikram has a huge fan flowing."
Dhanush and Kadhal
The super hit Kadhal was produced by Shankar. And its hero Bharath, 21, was catapulted to the top league.
When director Balaji Shaktivel first narrated the story of Kadhal to Shankar, he was busy with Boys. So he tried other producers, and many were willing to make the film with Dhanush but the actor did not have dates to spare.
After finishing Boys, Shankar asked Balaji to keep the script of Kadhal aside for Dhanush's dates and start another film but Balaji insisted on making Kadhal. He asked Shankar give him Rs 2 crore and two months. Shankar gave both.
Balaji Shaktivel made Kadhal with Bharath, who was one of the five heroes in Boys. The rest is history.
Surya's brother Karthik to act
Actor Sivakumar's second son Karthik has decided to be an actor. Sivakumar's first son Surya is already much sought after, especially after the success of Kakha Kaakha.
From working as an assistant to Mani Ratnam, Karthik has decided to come in front of the camera. Ameer, the director of the much acclaimed film Ram, has offered Karthik the lead role in Paruththi Veeran. Ameer directed Surya in his first film Mounam Pesiyithe.
The music of Ram, by Yuvan Shankar Raja, is one of the biggest hits of recent times. Naturally, he is the music director of Paruththi Veeran too.
A Memorial for Sivaji
The South Indian Nadigar Sangam has decided to erect a memorial for Sivaji Ganesan on land allotted by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
The bhoomi pooja was performed in the presence of leading stars like Kamal Haasan, Sarath Kumar and Prasanth, and led by the Sangam President Vijayakanth. The Sivaji family was also present.
According to Vijayakanth, the memorial will not be a mere mandapam but "an edifice to reflect the ethos of the Tamil film industry."
Sivaji Ganesan's clothes and pictures will be displayed at the memorial. Classes for budding artistes might also be held.