Sources close to Asin revealed, "Asin will be portraying the role of a warrior princess and hence has been trained in the ancient art. A local instructor trains her everyday. This film will be her biggest project till date, as the budget of the film is 50 million US dollars and it is based on the theme of the origin of Martial Arts in Kerala. Asin and Kamal Hassan play important role in safeguarding these Martial Arts of Kerala while Japanese actor Asano plays a blood thirsty Samurai Kenji seeking to conquer the ancient Indian Martial Arts forms of Kalaripayattu (ancestor of Karate). He learns the tough 18 steps and masters the 19th step from an Indian guru played by Kamal Hassan while Asin will play a local princess."
Kalaripayattu, an ancient martial art form which originated in Kerala, India, was taken across the Himalayas by the Buddhist monk Bodhi Dharma to China, giving birth to Chinese Kung Fu. Kalaripayattu in its current form is 1,500 years old.
The movie will be directed by Bharath Bala and produced by Bharath Bala Productions and Walt Disney. It will be released in three languages: English, Japanese and Tamil. The shooting of the film will begin in the last week of June 2009 after Kamal Hassan wraps up Marmayogi and once Asin masters the art. It will be shot in Kerala.
Meanwhile Asin is busy wrapping up her shoot of Vipul Shah's London Dreams with Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan before beginning her shoot on 19th Step.
After the stupendous success of Ghajini, Asin is busy learning the ancient form of martial art Kalaripayattu. The Ghajini starlet has signed an international project opposite Kamal Hassan called 19th Step. This is her second film with him after Dasavatharam. The film also stars Japanse star Tadanobu Asano in the lead.