It was during the making of Endhiran, director Shankar came across Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots. The moment he saw the movie, the filmmaker decided to break his self-imposed rule – making only original movies – by remaking the Hindi film to Tamil.
The casting process begun on a high note after Vijay gave nod to star in the movie but in a matter of few weeks time, the Kaavalan walked out of the project due to some differences with the makers of the film. Gemini Film Circuit, which acquired the South Indian remake rights of 3 idiots, then approached Surya and almost signed him to play the lead role played by Aamir Khan in the original. But the actor also stepped out of Nanban, as the production house refused to meet his demands.
On the other end, Shankar kick-started the shooting of Nanban with the other cast: Ileana D'Cruz, Jeeva, Srikanth, and Sathyaraj. In the meantime, the makers of the film decided to go with their first choice – Vijay. They convinced him and sealed the deal finally.
The first schedule of the shooting was completed at Ooty followed by second in Dehradun. The entire shoots were completed by the end of August except a song. Some of the songs of Nanban have been shot in London, Buckingham and Europe. However, though the movie was ready by September last week, the bosses decided to push the release date due to Vijay's other release Velayudham.
The audio of Nanban was released in December. Harris Jayaraj compositional music has some six tracks of which four tracks have been declared chartbusters and 'Asku laska...' topping the chart.
However, Nanban has generated curiosity for many reasons and being Vijay-Shankar's film is the prime factor for the hype. Adding to that the movie is a remake of a popular Hindi movie, which bagged countless awards for various category and the audience want to see how the Tamil version has been made with the local sensibilities.