Interestingly, Mohanlal was not the first choice for the character Vishal Krishnamoorthy, in the mystery-horror thriller movie. According to Sibi Malayil, Devadoothan was originally planned in the 1980s with the veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah and Madhavi in the lead roles. But, the project did not materialize due to various reasons.
By the second half of the 1990s, Sibi Malayil and his team decided to revive the project and planned to cast R Madhavan, who was a budding actor at that time. But Madhavan couldn't take up the offer, as he had already signed the contract to make his feature film debut with Mani Ratnam's Alaipayuthey. Meanwhile, Mohanlal got to know about the theme of Devadoothan from producer Siyad Koker and expressed his interest in the project.
Later, Sibi Malayil and writer Raghunath Paleri made some changes in the script upon the instruction of the producer, in order to suit the trends of the industry. The movie was shot with the best technology available at that point. After the premiere, the film industry members were highly impressed with Devadoothan, and even predicted that it will be game-changer.
However, the Mohanlal starrer failed to impress the common audiences, who were expecting the complete actor in a mass avathar. But Devadoothan equally impressed the cine-goers and critics after a few years and is regarded as a film which was much ahead of its time. The Sibi Malayil directorial had recently garnered attention once again after it released in the OTT platform Amazon Prime.