Mani Ratnam with Sham Kaushal
Mani Ratnam with Sham Kaushal in Thailand for location hunt.PR Handout

The preparations for the launch of Mani Ratnam's dream project based on Tamil historical fiction Ponniyin Selvan are happening at a brisk pace. The filmmaker with stunt choreographer Sham Kaushal is on a location hunt.

Sham Kaushal himself revealed about it on Twitter by posting a picture with a caption, "Location recce in Thailand. Rab Rakha. . [sic]" As per the reports, Indonesia has temples from the Chola period.

Why in Indonesia?
It looks like the story has a portion related to Cholas' influence in Indonesia. Hence, the director is on a location hunt in the said country, say reports. However, another set of rumours claim that owing to difficulties in recreating the Chola period in Thanjavur for the Tamil movie, he is planning to shoot the majority of the flick in Indonesia.

The shooting of the movie is scheduled to commence in December with the plans of releasing the movie in two instalments. The first part of the screen adaptation of Kalki Krishnamurthy-penned novel Ponniyin Selvan will reportedly release in 2021 and the second part will be out, two years later.

Ensemble Cast of Ponniyin Selvan
Mani Ratnam has already signed Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Chiyaan Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Trisha Krishnan, Aishwarya Lekshmi and Keerthy Suresh. There were strong rumours of Sathyaraj doing an important role, but those rumours have now turned out to be untrue.

Lyca Productions, which funded India's one of the high-budget films, 2.0, is funding Mani Ratnam's ambitious movie. It may be recalled that the director had plans to do the movie in 2012 and signed the likes of Mahesh Babu and Vijay with Sri Thenandal Films funding the flick.

The film was put on back burner due to budget issues.