Chennai: Audio launches in tinseltown have become glitzy events with chief guests seeming to be cherry-picked from the Hollywood A-list. The latest film from Kollywood to have created the right buzz is Vikram-starrer, Ai. Produced by Aascar Ravichandran, with music from A.R.Rahman, and directed by none other than Shankar, the Tamil film could have Arnold Schwarzenegger attending its audio launch while Jackie Chan, the action specialist, will be a special guest at the audio launch of its Telugu version, titled Manoharudu, in Hyderabad.
“We are looking for a good venue, one that suits the event, in Chennai. If that is done, Arnold will come for the function,” says Aascar Ravichandran. The producer is a friends with both the Hollywood actors.
However, he has completely denied the news that Arnold is playing a cameo in his much-talked about film, that has Vikram playing the lead along with actress, Amy Jackson.
On Sunday, the producer unveiled a song and the trailer of the film to the media. “Vikram put on weight, to weigh nearly 120 kg for his character and also reduced his weight by 50 kg for the same purpose,” says Aascar. “Vikram met Arnold, who has been Mr Universe, to get some tips from him on weight loss.”
The budget of the film is Rs 180 crores, the first film in Indian cinema with such a high budget. The producer is planning to release the film this Diwali. “The film is going to be released in China in nearly 15,000 theatres,” the producer says.
The Chinese government will permit only 50 foreign films annually to release there, the Vikram starrer being one of them this year. China has the largest number of theatres, 30,000 and in this is the first time that an Indian film is going to release in 15,000 theatres. “We are dubbing the film into Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese and several other languagues,” says the producer. Worldwide, the film is releasing in 20,000 theatres.
“This film will be a sensation,” according to Aascar, comparing its director Shankar to James Cameron.
Lead actor Vikram goes in for special make-up for this film which takes nearly 12 hours to effect. “He faced so many difficulties and even health problems, but worked hard for this film. Sometimes, he was required to stay in a 0-degree temperatures as the make-up required a cool temperature,” says Aascar. He added that they made a specially big refrigerator for Vikram who used to spend time there after his make-up was on.
Shankar roped in many foreign technicians to work on the film, which needed computer graphics and other technology. A five-minute song in the film called for a 40-day shoot.
The entire film took two years and eight months to complete. “The film has been shot extensively in China,” says Aascar. Its post-production work is nearly complete and is all set to hit the theatres.
Aascar has produced nearly 80 films, including Robot, Aparichitudu and Dasavatharam, and is the sole distributor of the film in India. He has also distributed many Jackie Chan and Schwarzenegger films.