'Thalaivii', starring Kangana Ranaut and Arvind Swami, is touted to be a box office hit. In this interview, producer Vishnu Vardhan Induri talks about the success, the challenges faced while making the movie, the BO collections of the biopic, his future projects, and more.
We have succeeded in two respects: Our movie has received acclaim and is being loved by the audience, and it has also recovered money. Had the box-office situation been normal, 'Thalaivii' would have been a bigger hit. The Hindi version hasn't been screened by three multiplex chains because we had made OTT deals to our advantage.
As a Telugu person, I am proud to have made a successful straight Hindi and Tamil movie. We have not only recovered the investment, but also made some money over and above it. We were relieved a day before the movie's release and I had a peaceful sleep. After the premiere shows in cities like Chennai and Bangalore, we were confident after watching the response of the viewers.
'Thalaivii' was made for a theatrical release. It's a grand visual spectacle. That's why we kept on rejecting OTT offers for direct-to-digital release. Had we gone for them, we would have earned greater table profits.
We have done excellent in terms of the number of people who have watched our movie. Since multiplexes are not playing our movie and the ticket prices are low compared to multiplexes for single screens, the number of audiences who have watched 'Thalaivii' is not being reflected in monetary collections. In North India, no multiplex is screening our movie. Otherwise, the collections would have been much higher.
When we first picked Kangana Ranaut, most of them said that our choice was bad. I made this film to prove myself as a good producer in Mumbai. MGR's character is more important in 'Thalaivii' than even Jayalalithaa's. We could think only of Arvind Swami for the role. Once the casting started falling in place, we grew confident.
When the pandemic struck the world, many advised me to scale down. But I didn't. We continued to make the biopic on a grand scale. The most challenging scenes were shot during the pandemic. My partners supported me unconditionally. My partner Tirumal Reddy stood by me all along.
Our movie hasn't degraded anybody. We have shown that MGR has great respect for Karunanidhi. They were great individuals, who became rivals only due to the circumstances they were in.
Eight out of 10 reviews are positive. Some critics are complaining that we haven't shown this or that aspect of Jaya's political life. They are disappointed that we haven't shown anything about what happens after Jaya became the CM. That's not our story. I have no plans to make a sequel to 'Thalaivii'. We have already shown what was the most crucial aspect in her life.
Nobody could have given a better tribute to Jayalalithaa garu. This is what many are saying. We will be increasing the number of screens in Tamil Nadu soon. The 'word of mouth' is so good that people who haven't been to single screens are watching our movie in them.
We have 3-4 Hindi films lined up in the next couple of years. One of the movies will be made on social media. Anonymous people abuse others on SM. The movie is a pan-India movie titled 'Trending'. A big director will be helming it. It's about the bullying done on SM. It will be a sensational film. Another film will be about what happened in the Prime Minister's Office after Abhinandan Vardhaman was caught by the Pakistan Army in 2019. The third film will be 'Azad Hind', a patriotic franchise movie. It's a franchise movie about less-known freedom fighters. There will be an 'Azad Hind' movie every year.
There is too much uncertainty. That's why we are not able to announce the release date of '83', the Kapil Dev movie. Annapurna Studios is our partner for the Telugu version.