Ramesh Aravind will be directing the Kannada and Tamil remakes of Queen, according to the production house that is coming out with its remakes in all the South Indian languages. Mediente, the production house, made the official announcement at the launch of the film in Kannada on Monday.
Remaking this heroine-oriented subject promises to be yet another interesting challenge for the actor-director. Ramesh Aravind tells CE that he was clear at the outset that he wanted to direct the remake in two languages. “I was told that Revathy would be directing the Tamil and Malayalam versions, and so initially, I didn’t ask for the Tamil project. In fact, I am very comfortable with Tamil. I can read and write the language, and have, after all, been part of 50 films here. Eventually, a lot of changes happened. The whole project was planned afresh, except for the Kannada version, and this time, I had no hesitation in pitching for the Tamil version as well.”
Kajal Aggarwal has been signed to play the role in Tamil, while Parul Yadav will reprise Kangana Ranaut’s role in the Kannada version. The lead actresses have been finalised, and an official announcement can be expected soon.
“I can’t officially confirm the Tamil heroine, but yes, I was told that Kajal Aggarwal would come on board,” says Ramesh.
The other important signing Ramesh Arvind is excited about is Amy Jackson who will reportedly be playing Lisa Haydon’s role in all four languages. He says that the decision to have her work across the board really elevates the film. “It cuts down four films into two in terms of execution for me,” he says.
The director has chosen the title, Butterfly, for the Kannada version. “I see Queen as a story of metamorphosis. First, a caterpillar gets rejected by the world. Later, it withdraws into a cocoon, and turns out into a butterfly. That is why I’ve chosen to call it that in Kannada. Even the English title is chosen for a reason. The story, after all, takes place in a foreign land.”
The actor-filmmaker hasn’t narrowed down on a title for the Tamil version. He has, however, decided on the locations of the shooting, which includes Karur, Tirupur and of course, later Paris, London and Amsterdam. The Kannada version, Butterfly, will be shot in Thirthahalli and Sagara.
The casting wasn’t really a spot of bother for Ramesh, as “the film has very few characters.” Except for the female lead and a few other characters, the rest of the cast seen abroad will mostly be the same, he says.
“We are looking for actors who are popular in Tamil and Kannada. We are also planning to bring in a newcomer as a hero and will soon be holding auditions for it,” he says.
Ramesh hopes to complete shooting the remakes in both languages by the end of this year. “Since I will be directing in both Kannada and Tamil, the project will need about 120 days of shooting schedule,” he says.
He concludes by expressing his delight at getting a chance to remake Queen. “I think it makes for a great story. I will definitely try and retain the essence of the film. Like I had said many times, I’m here to remake the story, not the film.”