Actor Vijay Sethupathi faced massive backlash on social media for essaying the role of Sri Lankan skipper Muttiah Muralitharan in the biopic 800.
As soon as the official motion poster of 800 was launched, political leaders and many from the Tamil film industry said that the actor should not act in the biopic of a person who had earlier made comments that were perceived to be in support of the war waged by Sri Lankan forces against LTTE, which resulted in deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. This created a stir on social media and left the netizens furious.
MURALIDARAN BIOPIC... Motion poster of #MuralidaranBiopic... Titled #800TheMovie... Stars #VijaySethupathi as cricketer #MuthiahMuralidaran... Directed by #MSSripathy... Produced by Movie Train Motion Pictures and Vivek Rangachari. pic.twitter.com/9RuAeCK7BB— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) October 13, 2020
Seeing this uncalled for hatred among fans, Vijay has opted out of the film. Yes, you heard that right!
Vijay Sethupathi exits Muttiah Muralitharan biopic 800
Retired Sri Lankan cricketing icon Muttiah Muralitharan asked actor Vijay Sethupathi, who was roped into starring in his biopic, 800, to step away from the project not to encounter problems in his career in future.
An official statement by Vijay Sethupathi
In a statement, Muttiah Muralitharan said that doing the film would cause harm to Sethupathi's career, and therefore he has asked the actor to quit the project. He also mentioned that the producers will be recasting the role and that the biopic will soon be available for his fans and general audience.
Sethupathi on Monday shared Muralitharan's statement on Twitter and wrote, "Thank you and goodbye."
In a statement from the United Arab Emirates, former Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan, who is currently working as a bowling coach for Sunrisers Hyderabad team playing in the Indian Premier League, said
Due to misconception, several people were pressing actor Vijay Sethupathi to drop out of 800 the film. I don't want one of the finest actor's in Tamil Nadu to face any trouble. Hence I request him to drop out of the project. There should be no obstacles for Vijay Sethupathi in the future because of this movie.
I never get tired of the obstacles. I have reached this position only by facing and overcoming obstacles. I accepted this biopic because I thought the movie would inspire and provide confidence to aspiring young cricketers. I am sure that the makers will overcome these hurdles. They have promised me that they will announce this soon. I will stand by their decisions.
I wholeheartedly thank the press, politicians, fans of Vijay Sethupathi, and most importantly, the people of Tamil Nadu who supported me in these circumstances."
Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan previous statement
In an earlier statement, the cricketer had said, "I know by experience the horrors and the pains that are caused by the war. We lived amid war in Sri Lanka for more than 30 years. And how I managed to join the cricket team and tasted success even though these circumstances is what 800 is all about."
800, to be produced by Movie Train Motion Pictures and Dar Motion Pictures, has been receiving sharp criticism from a section of Tamils, including Tamil film industry veterans like director Bharathiraja. However, others like actor Radikaa Sarathkumar had supported Vijay Sethupathi. The production house had said in a letter earlier that the film will not hurt the sentiments of anyone.
Meanwhile, an old audio clip from an interview that Vijay Sethupathi had given on the film has been circulating on the internet. The actor had spoken positively about the project at the time, insisting that the film would answer several questions and that he would definitely do the project.