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Vaaranam Aayiram is a forthcoming Tamil feature film currently being directed by Gautham Menon, who with Vaaranam Aayiram will direct his seventh feature film. Surya Sivakumar acts in dual lead roles, whilst Sameera Reddy, Divya Spandana and Simran Bagga also play roles in the film. The film, which has been under production since late 2006, has Harris Jayaraj as the music composer. The film, announced with a budget of 14 crore Indian rupees, is set to be released in the summer of 2008.
Following Kaaka Kaaka in 2003, both the director Gautham Menon and Surya Sivakumar expressed their desire to come together for a film in the future. In early 2005, the pair came together for a film tentatively titled Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikaalam which also featured Asin Thottumkal in the lead role and Daniel Balaji in a supporting role. However, after a photo shoot, the film was delayed and then subsequently called off due to Gautham's personal problems. Nevertheless, in 2006, producer Oscar Ravichandran signed up the pair for a new film, which they confirmed was not going to be a sequel of their previous venture, and was going to be a romantic thriller. Initially titles such as Naan Thaan and Udal Porul Aavi were considered to be the title for the project but however, Gautham announced the title was decided as Vaaranam Aayiram, with the literal meaning of "the strength of a thousand elephants".
Prior to the start of shooting, various technical crew members were signed up and the shoot commenced without a leading lady on 24 November 2006 at a nightclub in Chennai. In 2007, it was announced that a 10 day shoot in Afghanistan would be followed by abroad shooting in Malaysia, Russia and the United States of America, however til date, the film has only completed it shoot at University of California, Berkeley in San Francisco, USA and is unlikely that shooting will be held in Afghanistan, due to fears of safety.
In November 2007, Gautham Menon decided to send the reels of the film back to Chennai from San Francisco. Two of the production managers were assigned the task of bringing the reels to the producer's office, however they stayed in Singapore for a couple of days before returning to Chennai. Following their arrival in Chennai, it was understood the reels went missing in the hotel they stayed in at Singapore, but the search by the police in the hotel proved unsuccessful. The whole crew of Vaaranam Aayiram was in a fix as the reels consisted of various fight scenes, songs as well as other scenes which would have potentially lost up to Rs. 2 crores financially. However, soon after, the reels were with the Singapore airport authorities and the team recovered their loss. The film finished its shoot in August 2008 and re-recording is on.
The film is believed to be based on the Russian film, Character, however others have claimed that it is a remake of the 1993 Hollywood movie, Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks. However Gautham has stated the film will draw inspirations from Forrest Gump but will be fixed to suit the Indian audience. Furthermore Gautham stated that Surya Sivakumar will be seen playing the dual roles of a 21 year old and his father and also that the film will be with society themed. The film which was previously set to release in 2007, has been delayed for a October 2008 release After the cancellation of Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikaalam, originally starring Surya Sivakumar, Asin Thottumkal and Daniel Balaji, Gautham Menon, keeping the male leads the same, wanted to opt for a new heroine to begin Vaaranam Aayiram. Initially, Deepika Padukone was signed up and set to make her debut in Tamil films, however she backed out due to the inactiveness of the film and signed the Bollywood film, Om Shanti Om instead.Soon after another confirmed heroine, Andrea Jeremiah was dropped from the film for unknown reasons. Asin expressed her desire to be a part of the project, however the male lead, Surya, refuted her offer citing that she had walked out of his previous film, Sillunu Oru Kadhal and refused to act opposite her.
The producers then announced the film with Divya Spandana, who was making her comeback to Tamil films and Genelia D'Souza in the lead roles. Soon after the start of the shoot, Genelia decided to walk out of the film, after Gautham refused to pay the hefty salary that she was demanding and was receiving in Telugu films allowing Sameera Reddy to act in her first Tamil film. Simran Bagga signed and completed her shoots swiftly after she was selected to portray the mother of Surya, after Tabu had rejected the role.
Tags ar, divya, gautham, harria, hindi, mani, rahman, rajni, ratnam, sameera, satyam, simram, suriya, tamil

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