Horror, humour, and an island seen in Santhanam & Arya's next

Prem Anand, who helmed DD Returns, will once again be returning to the director’s seat with the upcoming film.
Actors Santhanam and Arya.
Actors Santhanam and Arya.

CHENNAI: Santhanam, along with Arya, launched the fourth film from the Dhilluku Dhuddu franchise, led by the former, earlier this week. The sequel to DD Returns, which was released last year, was officially announced with a pooja ceremony.

Prem Anand, who helmed DD Returns, will once again be returning to the director’s seat with the upcoming film. On how Arya joined the film as a producer, Prem says that both Santhanam and Arya wanted to collaborate for a long time, and they found this to be the perfect project for joining forces. He further reveals that the story for the sequel was originally developed for DD Returns.

“Since the scale of the upcoming film was too high back then, Santhanam sir advised me against doing it as the first film. However, I right away started working on this script from August last year,” he says.

Elaborating on why the upcoming film was considered too big last time, the director says, “The story requires to be shot in several locations, including an island. Horror films require more VFX support than other genres; this sequel will have an engaging narrative that will demand more technical support. VFX will play a crucial role in the film rather than just serving as an empty embellishment.”

On making two back-to-back films from the same franchise and genre, Prem says, “The one comforting thing about this franchise is that people come here for laughs. I can and should repeat that aspect. Whereas, I have totally discarded the tropes and character traits I used for DD Returns. In fact, Santhanam plays a well-defined character in this film rather than a regular hero. He also gets a completely different makeover with this film.”

According to the director, just like the game-show template for the scare scenes in DD Returns that stood out in comparison to the other two films of the franchise, there is one such inventive trope up his sleeve for this film. Divulging about the shooting schedule of the film, Prem Anand says that they have planned to shoot six schedules and 70 days in total, which is set to commence on July 22. The director adds that since he will be filming in several outdoor locations, including an island, the preparation to handle external factors like the capricious weather is being undertaken by his team.

While cinematographer Dipak Kumar Padhy, music composer Ofro, and art director AR Mohan have been retained from the previous film’s technical team, Bharath replaces NB Srikanth as the editor.

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