10 interesting facts about Mani Ratnam’s epic dream project Ponniyin Selvan

The movie Ponniyin Selvan was based on a book by Kalki Krishnamurthy. In this article, we are going to discuss all the things you should know about the Mani Ratnam magnum opus steering Vikram, Karti, Aishwarya Rai Bacchan, Jayam Ravi, Trisha Krishnan, and others.

10 interesting facts about Mani Ratnam's epic dream project Ponniyin Selvan
10 interesting facts about Mani Ratnam’s epic dream project Ponniyin Selvan

1. Ponniyin Selvan is an epic historical fiction book about the Chola Empire written by R Krishnamoorthy by his pen name Kalki. It was published as the weekly edition of Kalki from 29th October 1950 to 16th May 1954. It was later released in the form of a book in 5 parts in 1955. Ponniyin Selvan is the largest-selling book in Tamil with around 1 lakh copies sold every year. This epic novel is considered the greatest novel ever in Tamil literature. 

2. It was a dream for many filmmakers to adopt this Saga into a movie. One of them was M G Ramachandran. The legendary director Maniratnam has been trying to make a movie on this for the last 30 years. But due to various reasons, the film was never made.

3. The movie Ponniyin Selvan was directed by the most prestigious and 6 times National award-winning filmmaker Maniratnam. The cast of Ponniyin Selvan includes Vikram, Aishwarya Rai Bacchan, Karthik, Jayam Ravi, Trisha Krishnan, Jairam, Vikram Prabhu, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Sarathkumar, Prakash Raj, Rahman, and Sara Arjun and many more. 

4. The historical drama was actually adopted by MG Ramachandran who bought the rights to produce a film in 1958 for 10 thousand rupees. He had also ensembled the cast with Vijayanthimala, Gemini Ganesan, Padmini, Savitri, B. Saroja Devi, M.N. Rajam, T. S. Balaiah, M. N. Nambiar, Thevar, and V. Nagaiah, and many others. But unfortunately, MG Ramachandran met with an accident and was unable to produce this Epic drama.

5. It was Maniratnam’s dream since 1994 to make a film on Ponniyin Selvan. But the budget for the film was estimated to be a hundred crores. Investing such a huge amount in making a film is such a huge responsibility in 1994 and it didn’t make any sense. It was again in 2010 that Maniratnam decided to begin the project. But this time, he faced other challenges with respect to locations to shoot the film. The legendary director wanted to shoot some parts of the film in Mysore Palace Lalitha Mahal. But he was not successful in getting all the necessary permissions.

6. Maniratnam decided to take over the project in 2019. But this time he faced challenges to arrange the cast of the film. He has decided to cast the film with Thalapathi Vijay, Mahesh Babu, Anushka Shetty, Nayanthara, Keerthi Suresh, Vijay Sethupathi, and many others. But all these actors opted out of the film for various other reasons. By the time Mani Ratnam started shooting he have revamped a whole lot cast. 

7. The iconic trio of music composer AR Rahman and lyricist Vairamuthu have worked on each of Mani Ratnam’s films since Roja 1992. But due to some controversies and false allegations, the trio broke up and the lyricist will not be working with them anymore. 

8. The South actor Karthi has not worked with the same director twice. It was not his conscious decision but somehow he happened to work with the same director again after the film Kaatru Veliyidai 2017. 

9. When Mani Ratnam wanted to make this film in 1994, the movie budget was estimated to be a hundred crore. Now in 2022, the budget has risen up to 500 crores.

10. The soundtrack of the movie contains a total of 12 songs which is a very rare thing in Indian cinema. To write the songs for the film, Mani Ratnam and A. R. Rahman had flown to Bali as per the reports. A. R. Rahman in an interview had spoken that Ponniyin Selvan was one of the most difficult movies he had worked on till now.

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