Tamil Actor Vijay Sethupathi Quits Biopic Project On Veteran Cricketer Muralitharan As The Lankan Asks Him Not To Risk His Career
Muralitharan, in a statement from Dubai, where he is now with the Sunrisers Hyderabad as its bowling coach in the Indian Premier League T-20 cricket tournament, said that he did not want a good actor’s career to be affected because of a film based on his career.
The yet-to-be-made biopic on Sri Lankan test cricketer Muthiah Muralitharan has run into problems after leading Tamil actor Vijay Sethupathi, who was to play his role, withdrew from the project.
In a responding to a statement from Muralitharan asking him to withdraw since the project could affect the actor’s future, Sethupathi said: “Nandri.. Vanakkam” (Thank you...Namaste).
This was an indication that he is heeding the advice of Muralitharan, whose biopic 800 is named on the record number of wickets he took in Test cricket.
Later, when asked by media at the residence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS), where he had gone to condole the death of EPS' mother, Sethupathi said: “It’s over”.
Sethupathi was under attack from pro-Tamils in Tamil Nadu for agreeing to play the role of Muralitharan.
Pro-Tamils, led by Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko, and some among the Tamil film industry personalities, had criticised the actor since they alleged that the Lankan off-spinner had never condemned the killing of Lankan Tamils by the Sri Lankan Army during its war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The pro-Tamil group is comprised mainly of pro-LTTE elements and last week, it had raised the pitch against the biopic 800 on Muralitharan.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by its Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy and former IPS official K Annamalai, had come out in support of the making of the movie as well as Sethupathi, who has always expressed views against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Muralitharan, in a statement from Dubai, where he is now with the Sunrisers Hyderabad as its bowling coach in the Indian Premier League T-20 Cricket tournament, said that he did not want a good actor’s career to be affected because of a film based on his career.
Stating that he had overcome many a hurdle in his life to reach the zenith in his career, the retired Lankan off-spinner said he hoped the producers — DAR Movies — would be able to take the biopic overcoming these protests.
Muralitharan, who had earlier clarified that he had never supported the killing of Lankan Tamils, said the producers would soon announce further details on the project, which he wanted to reach young cricketers across the country.
The movie 800 will be made in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Sinhala, Bengali and English among other languages.
It was slated to go on the floor next year before encountering the current uproar.
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