Attahasa director AMR Ramesh is coming up with 10 one-hour episodes, which will star Kishore as Veerappan, besides local artistes as well as actors from Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu cinema; the digital series will be out in four Indian languages
At his last announcement, director AMR Ramesh was working on a web series titled LTTE, which was backed by actor-producer, Rana Daggubatti. Now, he put this project on the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, on hold. Instead, the director of Cyanide, Attahasa, and Police Quarters, is currently working on making a web series on Veerappan - Hunger for Killing. The 10-episode webseries will be made under AMR Pictures. The story written by director Ramesh has him taking productional responsibility along with Indumathi. Veerappan will have music composed by Vijai Shankar with two DOPS -- Vijay Milton and Vaidy S handling the cinematography.
The curtain-raiser, which will be out on July 23, will reveal a few details. Ahead of that, Ramesh tells CE that he is getting ready to shoot for this series from August 10. “The curtain raiser is more or less like a trailer. The shoot will be a 60-day schedule canned in Bengaluru and forests of Karnataka. The team will follow government orders, and we are taking safety measures, travelling with a limited crew,” says Ramesh. As preparation for the shoot begins, Ramesh has been holding meetings with Kishore who plays the role of Veerappan along with crew. “Along with Kishore, the actors who worked in Attahasa, including Ravi Kale, Sampath, Raai Laxmi, Viayalakshmi, Suchendra Prasad, will be joining the first 30-days schedule.
In the meantime, I am in talks with a handful of well-known faces from Hindi, Tamil and Telugu industries, and the cast details will be revealed once they’ve signed on the dotted line. “The web series will also see Arjun Sarja, who had played the role of cop K Vijay Kumar in Attahasa. We have some unused episodes of the actor, from the film, which will come handy for the web series. We will approach Arjun Sarja in case we need more scenes to be shot,” he says. Considering that the story of Veerappan has been attempted by a few directors, including himself, with Attahasa, is it necessary to tell another story of the forest brigand? “Veerappan, as a film was only two-and-a-half hours, but that was highly compressed. Now, the story will be shot for 10 hours.
In the earlier one, I could not present the deeper facts and couldn’t do justice as there was a lot of pressure from the censor board and government. However, with the web series, there are no restrictions,” says Ramesh, who adds that he also pushed himself to make the web series after watching Ram Gopal Varma’s Killing Veerappan. “I felt RGV didn’t say anything in Killing Veerappan. When he doesn’t have guts to use real names, real places, what is the point of basing it on a real-life subject? At least I had real names in my directorial. I also couldn’t say everything I wanted to in Attahasa because of a lot of pressure. When the facts are already out in public domain, why don’t filmmakers have the liberty of showing it on screen?,” he questions.
According to the director, the web series is a big platform, which will enable him to explore deeper into Veerappan’s life. “I am making this assurance after watching different web series, including Aarya, Family Man, Paatal Lok, Mirzapur, and Sacred Games. I can confidently say that we have the best content in India,” he says. While Attahasa explored the atrocities of Veerappan and his encounter with the police, Ramesh explains that the only one that could be highlighted was the story of police officer Vijaykumar.
“However, the web series will bring stories of Shanker Bidari, Kempaiah, Harshavardhan Raju, Jyothi Prakash Mirji, Madhukar Shetty, along with IPS officers Ravindra Prasad, Harishekaran , Ramkrishna Prasad, Bava, BB Ashok Kumar, Prabhkar Barki, Soudhagar, Nagaraj, BK Shivram, and others who encountered Veerappan in different situations,” he says. Interestingly, this web series on Veerappan will be a show reel for his upcoming web series LTTE. “We will be showcasing the Veerappan webseries, to the international market, and for people to sample our work before I begin the next web series LTTE. The latter will be a 100-episode series, which is the plan at the moment,” he says.