Menon has replaced Mammootty as the lead actor of Ranjith's much-awaited
upcoming project Leela. The movie is based on Unni R's short story of
the same name. Unni himself pens the screenplay and dialogues.
The project, which will be released under the title
Leela-The Never Ending Play, was initially offered to
Mohanlal. But he turned down the offer due to personal reasons.
Later, Shankar Ramakrishnan was considered for the lead
But later, the team finalised Mammootty to play the central
character Kuttiyappan; to the much surprise of the audience and
media. It is because Kuttiyappan is an extra bold character, which
lies outside Mammootty's comfort zone.
Earlier, Ann Augustine was roped in to play the
title character, Leela. But the actress opted out due to the
controversial nature of the character. Leela is all about
the unique relationship between the mahout Kuttiyappan and an
orphan girl named Leela.
Later, the team went on to cast Karthika Nair for the role; but
later replaced her with Rima Kallingal, as they were unimpressed
with Karthika's screen test. Even Rima's association with the
project has not been finalised.
Ranjith is directing a movie based on another writer's
screenplay, for the first time in his career. Reportedly, the
highly anticipated project will start rolling by the end of 2015
and hit the theatres by mid 2016.