After several years of anticipation, Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus, Ponniyin Selvan-I (PS-I), is just a day away from hitting the silver screens. PS-I is the only grand-scale film, in terms of budget, in Kollywood after the Shankar directorial Enthiran 2.0, aka Robo 2.0, with an estimated budget of Rs 250 crores. Releasing in five languages, the movie is not only expected to create wonders at the global box office but also receive high critical acclaim. PS-I seems to be a deserving watch at the theatres for all the blood and sweat the team has put into this epic period drama. Director Mani Ratnam, who has been working on this project since the 1990s, called this movie his ‘dream project.’ Yes, you heard that right! Mani Ratnam started working for Ponniyin Selvan in the 90s and successfully materialised it after three decades in 2022.
If that made your jaw drop, here are some other interesting facts about Ponniyin Selvan-I, aka PS-I, you must know before you watch it in the theatres.
Also read: Clash of the multi-starrers, PS-I and Vikram Vedha to raise the heat
Read on for interesting facts about Ponniyin Selvan.
Ponniyin Selvan is an adaptation of a 1955 novel
Written by Kalki Krishnamurthy, Ponniyin Selvan is regarded as one of the greatest novels in Tamil literature. The five-part book series weaves through the rise of Arulmozhi Varman, whose role is being played by Jayam Ravi in the movie. Arulmozhi went on to become Rajaraja Chola I, considered the greatest Chola ruler. Author Kalki ran PS’s story in his magazine’s weekly editions for four years. Upon his death in 1954, the story was made into a five-part novel series.
Legendary MGR first planned to make PS in the late 1950s
In the 1950s, legendary actor MGR, who also served as the CM of Tamil Nadu, bought the rights for rs 10,000 to produce and direct the novel into a movie. He also roped Gemini Ganesan, Savitri, Padmini, Vyjayanthimala, and other prominent actors to play the lead characters. But unfortunately, the film never went on set as MGR met with an accident that forced the movie to be shelved.
Mani Ratnam and Kamal Haasan tried to materialise the project in the 90s
In an interview with Filmfare in 1994, the director revealed that he and Kamal Haasan attempted to adapt the novel into a movie. The duo reportedly worked on the first draft before shelving it due to financial issues.
Mahesh Babu and Vijay started working for PS in 2010
After renewing interest in the project in 2010, Mani Ratnam roped in stars such as Mahesh Babu and Vijay to play the lead character. While Mahesh was said to essay the role of Arulmozhi, Vijay was said to be seen in the role being played by Karthi. The star duo also posed for a test photoshoot, but the filming never commenced due to escalated production costs.
Amitabh Bachchan, Anushka Shetty, Vijay Sethupathi, and several others were roped in
When Mani restarted PS in 2010, he roped Anushka Shetty and Jyothika to play the female leads. Nevertheless, the movie never took a forward step until 2019, when he decided to revive it with funding from Lyca Productions. Stars such as Amitabh Bachchan and Vijay Sethupathi were brought to the team to play crucial roles. Amala Paul and Sathyaraj, too, were said to be a part of PS. But similar to all the other actors who have parted ways with the movie, these big names have split up from the project.
PS was supposed to be a stand-alone
The director initially prepared the script for only one part. But as he went on, Mani Ratnam realised that a story with such broad scope and several important characters could not be adjusted in a single three-hour movie. In a recent press release, he announced that the second instalment would be released within nine months of the release of PS-I.
After facing numerous hurdles and decades of longing, Mani Ratnam has successfully directed his dream project on a grand scale with breathtaking visuals. Well-renowned technicians such as AR Rahman, seven-time National Award-winning editor A Sreekar Prasad, and art director Thota Tharani worked on PS. Ponniyin Selvan-I is all set to release across the globe on 30 September 2022.
Let us know which one of the facts about Ponniyin Selvan amazed you the most. Stay tuned to Yo! Vizag website and Instagram for more.