Prithviraj Sukumaran was approached for his 'Salaar' role more than 18 months ago, but he nearly could not do the film because he was busy with the Jordan and Algeria shoots for critically acclaimed Malayalam director Blessy's pandemic-delayed magnum opus 'Aadu Jeevitham', reports 'Variety'.
As luck would have it, 'Salaar' was also delayed and the dates finally aligned. Prithviraj began shooting for the film in September.
"There are multiple reasons why 'Salaar' would be a no-brainer for anybody to say yes to -- it's a Prashanth Neel film, a Hombale Films [of the K.G.F. franchise] production and it is Prabhas's film," Sukumaran told 'Variety'. "It is Prabhas's return to mainstream mass commercial cinema after a while. His films post 'Saaho' have been slightly away from the mass action genre."
Sukumaran is not at liberty to divulge much detail, but he says a lot of 'Salaar' revolves around Prabhas and his own character, named Vardharaja Mannaar.
"The crux of the story is very much between Prabhas's character and mine," Sukumaran told 'Variety'. "I deem it a privilege that somebody like Prashanth Neel post 'K.G.F: Chapter 2' thought it was worth waiting for me to be able to join the film. And I'm glad I made that decision to finally say yes to it, because having shot for a few days, I think it might just be one of those epic cinematic experiences. So, I'm really looking forward to 'Salaar' as much as an actor and as a film lover."
Prithviraj , a lead actor with more than 120 credits, primarily operates in the Malayalam cinema industry, notes 'Variety'. Barring a blip in the early 2000s, the industry is known for its consistently excellent output. He is at the forefront of it with his production and distribution company Prithviraj Productions, which he runs with his wife Supriya Menon.
He has a raft of projects coming up in various capacities. As an actor, 'Salaar' is due a September 28, 2023 release, while 'Aadu Jeevitham' is in post production and aiming for a major film festival slot in 2023, reports 'Variety'.
'Gold' by Alphonse Puthren ('Premam') is due in the next few months and Shaji Kailas's crime thriller 'Kaapa', a film put together to raise funds for the Writers' Union of Kerala, has just wrapped. 'Vilayath Budha', the unrealised dream of late writer-director Sachy, will start next.
The actor debuted in Bollywood with 'Aiyyaa' (2012) and also had roles in 'Aurangzeb' (2013) and 'Naam Shabana' (2017). He is returning to the industry in 2023 with a project that has been greenlit, but not yet announced.
Pandemic delay enabled Prithviraj to come on board Prabhas-starrer 'Salaar'.