Mumbai — South superstar Thiagarajan, who has in his kitty nearly 150 films in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu as actor-director-producer, has now bought the rights to remake “Queen,” the only clean hit in the first quarter of 2014, in all the four South Indian languages.
“‘Queen’ touched my heart,” said the heartthrob. “I watched the film, and it stayed on in my heart. It is this ability of ‘Queen’ to relate to audiences irrespective of language and boundary barriers that prompted me to take up the film.
“We are planning to start work on all four remakes simultaneously and release them by 2015,” revealed Thiagarajan, who plans a no-costs-spared affair with extensive shoots in Paris, Amsterdam and Spain.
“Queen” is the journey of Rani, whose fiancé breaks off their wedding, after which she goes on her honeymoon alone. The journey brings out her strength and self-realization, making her tale relatable and inspirational the world over.
Thiagarajan is now on the lookout for the perfect actress to play the protagonist Rani. “We need an actress who can look serious yet carefree. It is not an easy role to essay,” said Thiagarajan, who plans to rope in young blood to direct the film.
He admits that top Hindi film actresses have sent feelers, but he is still to take a call. However, he is quite keen that Lisa Haydon, who played Kangana Ranaut’s friend in the original, essays the same role in all the remakes.
Asked if he will have his son Prashanth in the cast, Thiagarajan said he would let the actor take that call.
“Currently, Prashanth is busy with a Hindi film, besides ‘Sahasam’ in Tamil. I have ideas to rope him in, but it is a character with gray shades. I respect actors and their choices, and I will let him decide. If not him, then an actor who is on par with him would be roped in,” said Thiagarajan.
Vikas Bahl, the director of the original “Queen,” is obviously delighted. “I made the film with a lot of heart and emotions, and I am elated that it is getting this kind of acceptance across the South,” he said in a press release.
Ajit Andhare, chief operation officer, Viacom18 Motion Pictures added, “‘Queen’ is a universal story. It resonates across cultures. The trend has always been for South Indian films to be adapted in Hindi. We’re proud to have turned the tables, where a Hindi entertainer will be consumed in the four major South Indian languages by a maker like Thiagarajan.”
Thiagarajan has acted in over 150 films in various languages, directed 15 movies and produced 20 motion pictures.