When Lyca Productions decided to bankroll India's biggest project Enthiran 2 (2.O), they were bombarded with many questions, with the most important of them all being about their long term plan of producing Indian flicks.
Not only did the representatives of Lyca declared that they intend to finance more projects in India, they also gave away their keenness on funding high budget movies here.
Based On A Biography
Eminent writer late Sujatha had revealed that nearly 80 percent of the film would be based on Samuel Charles Hill's biography of Muhammed Yusuf Khan also known as 'Marudha Nayagam'.
Roping In Queen Elizabeth II!
Kamal Haasan managed to rope in Queen Elizabeth II to appear as the chief guest at the launch of the project, which took place at the MGR Film City on 16th October 1997.
The Original Cast
The original cast included Kannada actor Vishnuvardhan, Nassar, Om Puri and Amrish Puri. While Hollywood actress Kate Winslet was offered the lead female role of Marsha, Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth were approached to play guest roles.
Michael Westmore and his apprentice Barry Cooper were roped in to take care of the make-up department. The graphics of the film were controlled by Pentafour. Sabu Cyril was appointed head of art direction and Ravi K Chandran was roped in as the cameraman.
It was announced that music composing would be a collaborative effort between Ilaiyaraaja and Andrew Lloyd Webber with prominent Carnatic singer, MS Subbalakshmi singing for the film.
Official filming began in Velangudi on 10th August 1998 with a scene, where a companion of the lead character, played by Kamal Haasan, is hanged prompting a brief altercation.
Works suddenly ceased after a British company that had planned to co-produce the film backed out and the film has been indefinitely postponed since.
The Hunt For Financiers
Kamal Haasan met American producers during his visit to Los Angeles in June 2006 to try and find a financier for the film, but the talks were unfruitful.
The Resurrection Games
The star actor announced that he intends to restart work on the film in 2012, mentioning that the movie could be made within a budget of 150 Crores, and may feature contemporary leading actor Rajinikanth in another role.
Ready To Be Screened
Kamal Haasan also revealed that about 30 minutes of the film is ready to be screened and that remaining 1 hour and 15 minutes would be shot whenever the film is revived.
Not surprisingly, speculations were rife that Lyca Productions may bankroll Kamal Haasan's dream project Marudhanayagam, since the film, which went on floors way back in 1997, had to be stalled owing to financial issues.
Now that Lyca is willing to produce extortionate movies, the hearsay of Kamal Haasan joining hands with them to revive Marudhanayagam seemed rational.
But that was few months before, now, it is certain that the legendary actor will team up with one of the most prestigious production companies.
"Lyca is proud to associate with Ulaganayagan Kamalhassan avargal", Raju Mahalingam, the Creative Head of Lyca posted on his social media page along with a picture of himself, Subaskaran (Founder & Chairman of Lyca) and Kamal Haasan.
Though it is still not clear on what this exciting team will work on, chances are that they might revive the long-stalled project.
Interestingly, Ayngaran International had posted a revamped poster of Marudhanayagam on their official Twitter page, giving rise to speculations that they may co-produce the flick.
That too is a possibility as Ayngaran International and Lyca Productions have jointly bankrolled movies in the past, prime example being Ilayathalapathy Vijay's Kaththi.
Marudhanayagam, a historical film loosely based on the life of Muhammed Yusuf Khan, a 17th century warrior, was planned on a lavish budget of 85 Crore rupees (an equivalent of ₹500 Crore in 2015).
Kamal Haasan had reportedly spent around a whopping 1.5 Crores on a scene featuring a battle sequence. The film subsequently came to a standstill as the actor-producer couldn't cope with the inflating budget.
Click on the slides above to know more about Marudhanayagam, along with some mind-boggling stills from the movie.