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Kangana Ranaut to play Jayalalithaa in next biopic, Thalaivi

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On Kangana Ranaut’s birthday on Saturday, the makers of the film announced that she will play Jayalalithaa in the upcoming multilingual biopic.

Karthik Kumar

On the 71st birth anniversary of the late Tamil Nadu chief minister and former film star J Jayalalithaa, on 25 February, it was officially announced that a biopic on her life, titled Thalaivi, will be directed by AL Vijay.

On Saturday, the film’s makers chose the occasion of Kangana Ranaut’s birthday to announce that the Hindi film star will play Jayalalithaa in the upcoming multilingual biopic.

On being roped in to play the popular and controversial personality, Ranaut said in a statement, “Jayalalithaaji is one of the biggest female success stories of this century. She was a superstar and went on to become an iconic politician. It's a great concept for a mainstream film. I am honoured to be a part of this mega project.”

The film, to be released in Tamil as Thalaivi and in Hindi as Jaya, will start rolling from April.

Talking to The Times of India newspaper, Vijay said, “Actually, producer Vishnu Induri approached me last year with this story idea and asked if I could direct the film. While I was excited with the idea, I was also reluctant because there is a huge responsibility of making an honest biopic. She is an achiever whom we have all grown up watching. But Vishnu was confident about this project. We spent the last eight months researching her life.”

The film's story has been written by Vijayendra Prasad, writer of the Baahubali franchise (2015-2017), Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) and Ranaut's own Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi (2019).

GV Prakash has been roped in to compose the film's music while Nirav Shah will crank the camera. The rest of the cast and crew will be finalized soon.