SSMB29: SS Rajamouli casting Prithviraj Sukumaran for the antagonist role in Mahesh Babu’s biggie?

Looks like the role has been crafted with a narrative arc and backstory that justifies the actions and hence Prithviraj is excited about it.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 04, 2024 | 3:18 PM Updated Jul 04, 2024 | 3:18 PM

Prithviraj Sukumaran to play an antagonist in Mahesh Babu-SS Rajamouli film

Rumour mills suggest that Malayalam actor Prithviraj Sukumaran might join the cast of SS Rajamouli’s upcoming film with superstar Mahesh Babu, tentatively titled SSMB29.

The highly anticipated Telugu film from the RRR (2022) director features Mahesh Babu in a powerful role.

While Prithviraj’s involvement hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, reports indicate that Rajamouli is collaborating closely with his writer-father Vijayendra Prasad and started the pre-production process of SSMB29. In the meantime, we anticipate that the filmmakers will soon release the details of the cast and crew.

Interestingly, until recently, unconfirmed reports were circulating about Aamir Khan being considered for the antagonist role in the film.

It looks like the antagonist role is crafted with a narrative arc and backstory that justifies the character’s actions. Prithviraj Sukumaran is reportedly enthusiastic about his debut collaboration with both Rajamouli and Mahesh Babu in SSMB29, one of the most-anticipated films in recent times.

While Prithviraj is a prominent star known for his exceptional work in Malayalam cinema, he is open to appearing in multi-starrer projects. His versatility is evident in his choice of roles, such as his casting in Salaar: Part 1-Ceasefire (2023) alongside Prabhas.

Related: Mahesh Babu-Rajamouli’s ‘SSMB29’ inspired by Wilbur Smith’s novel?

SSMB29, a jungle adventure thriller

SSMB29 is touted to be a jungle adventure thriller, primarily set to be filmed in the African jungles. It is poised to be one of the most expensive films in Indian cinema, with a budget exceeding ₹1,000 crore.

Although some reports suggest that Mahesh Babu might also serve as a co-producer, there has been no official confirmation on this yet.

Following the resounding global success of RRR and its Oscar win, international studios such as Disney and Sony Pictures are eager to collaborate with Rajamouli.

A few months ago, producer KL Narayana, Rajamouli, and Mahesh Babu were seen at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport upon their return from Dubai. Fans speculated that their visit was related to the preliminary work on SSMB29.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the project is expected to commence either in August or September 2024. Mahesh Babu is attending workshops to deeply understand and embody his character, demonstrating his commitment to the role.

In an interview, producer KL Narayana revealed that he waited 15 years to work on a film with Mahesh Babu and Rajamouli.

“I took a break because I didn’t want to work on anything else while waiting for this film. Some projects didn’t come to fruition. Rajamouli was occupied with the Baahubali (2015 & 2017) franchise and RRR. Mahesh and Rajamouli promised me 15 years ago and have kept their word. The film features various episodes, including one set in Africa. We’ve also brought in fighters from Vietnam for the film,” he was quoted as saying.

Mahesh Babu was last seen in Guntur Kaaram, released for Sankranthi this year. The Trivikram Srinivas directorial received mixed reviews from both fans and critics.

During an event celebrating Satyadev’s Krishnamma (2024), director Anil Ravipudi humorously prodded Rajamouli to provide an update on the film. This prompted Rajamouli to jest, “I’ll offer ₹10,000 to anyone who can film and send me a video of beating up Anil.”

Earlier this year, Rajamouli travelled to Japan to attend the screening of RRR and also discussed SSMB29.

He mentioned, “We have completed the script for our next film and are currently in the pre-production phase. However, we haven’t finalised the entire cast yet. The lead protagonist of the film is confirmed to be Mahesh Babu. He’s a talented actor whom you might already be familiar with. He has a charming presence. We hope to complete the film, and I look forward to introducing him to you during its release.”

Indonesian actor Chelsea Elizabeth Islan began following Rajamouli on Instagram, leading to speculation among fans that she could be part of SSMB29.

(Edited by Y Krishna Jyothi)

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Related: Makers of SSMB 29 deny casting rumours