Prithviraj Sukumaran and Aashiq Abu, the actor and filmmaker announced their first collaboration, Variyamkunnan, in June 2020. The historical drama, which is based on the life of historical figure Variyamkunnathu Ahammed Haji had sparked a lot of controversies right from its launch. However, both Prithviraj Sukumaran and Aashiq Abu have now backed out from the project.
If the reports are to be believed, the actor-director duo decided to withdraw from the project a few months back. Recently, director Aashiq Abu confirmed the news and stated that the creative differences with the producers are the reason behind his exit from Variyamkunnan. The sources suggest that Prithviraj Sukumaran also exited from the project due to the same reason.
However, the grapevine suggests that it was the wide cyber attack faced by Prithviraj and Aashiq Abu that led to the duo's withdrawal from the project. Both the actor and director were brutally attacked by a group of netizens, who believed that Variyamkunnan might whitewash Variyamkunnathu Ahammed Haji, who was the leader of the Malabar Mappila Lahala of 1921. The cyberattack went to an extent where even the family members of Prithviraj Sukumaran had to face cyber bullying.
Later in July 2020, Ramees, who was one of the writers of Variyamkunnan, had exited from the project. The writer decided to withdraw from the Prithviraj Sukumaran starrer after he was called out by the netizens for his fiercely political and extremely misogynistic social media posts from the past five to six years.
Coming to Variyamkunnan, the project was originally supposed to be directed by Anwar Rasheed, with the National award-winning actor Chiyaan Vikram playing the lead role. However, things didn't materialise due to both Anwar and Vikram's unavailability. Later, Aashiq Abu took over the project and Prithviraj Sukumaran was roped in to play the titular role. If the reports are to be believed, the much-awaited project might get shelved, owing to the actor-director duo's exit.