Chennai: Actor Dulquer Salmaan will play late Tamil star Gemini Ganesan in upcoming bilingual film "Mahanati", a biopic on legendary southern actress Savitri, a source said.
"Dulquer has been finalised to play Gemini Ganesan in the film. The rest of the cast and crew are being finalised. The project will start rolling from June," a source from the film's unit told IANS.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu will be seen in a pivotal role and it is through her perspective the story of Savitri will be narrated.
Ashwin had previously told IANS that he decided to make a biopic on Savitri because: "There have been countless actresses over the last 80 years in Telugu cinema but none have earned the title of Mahanati, and even today it has solely been reserved for Savitri."
"It'll be a magnum opus period film set in the golden era. With massive set pieces, the film will be unlike anything we've explored in Indian cinema," he said, confirming he's likely to start shooting in the first half of this year.
Born on January 4, 1936, Savitri made her acting debut in 1950 Telugu-Tamil drama "Samsaram", and went on to star in several classics such as "Devadasu", "Missamma", "Penin Perumai", "Pasa Malar", "Bhale Ramudu", "Thodi Kodallu", "Mayabazaar" and "Gundamma Katha".
Besides donning the greasepaint, Savitri also directed a few films such as "Chinnari Papalu", "Chiranjeevi" and "Mathru Devatha". She was even a popular playback singer.