Direct-to-OTT release for Mohanlal’s Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham on the cards

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Talking to the media on the sidelines of the 67th National Film Awards ceremony on Monday, producer Antony Perumbavoor said that he was running out of patience as he couldn’t withhold his new movie Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham any longer.

“I can’t wait any longer. I am thinking about whether to release it in theatres or on OTT. There are bigger films than Marakkar waiting to be made,” Antony told the media.

Antony Perumbavoor noted that he had held on to Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham for two years, hoping to release it in theatres, but circumstances are far from favourable for the film’s theatrical release. “Back in the day, we used to work through the night to ensure smooth release in theatres. We used to have 4 am shows for big-budget films, which allowed us to recover our investments. Under the current circumstances with 50 per cent occupancy. Yes, in other parts of the country, people have come in large numbers to theatres. We also know there is a significant section of people who are ready to come to theatres to watch this film. But, we have no clarity as to how it will pan out in the long run,” he added.

He said that at this point, he’s now considering options to recover the investment he had made. And he in no uncertain terms said if the OTT release could align with his interest, there was nothing wrong with considering it. “Some films may benefit from releasing in theatres with 50 per cent occupancy. But, releasing Marakkar in theatres along with other films, with 50 per cent occupancy and hoping to make profits is not easy,” he reasoned.

Antony also called to attention the risk of safeguarding this film from the menace of piracy. “When we made this film, we made it for theatres. We also waited for it. We are now considering all possibilities to decide on this,” he said.

Marakkar Arabikadalinte Simham won three National Awards including Best Feature Film, Best Special Effects and Best Costume Design. Written and directed by Priyadarshan, the film traces the battle exploits of the celebrated naval chief of Zamorin, Kunjali Marakkar IV. The film, starring Mohanlal in the titular role, is said to have been made on a budget of Rs 100 crore.

The movie was supposed to release in May 2020. However, the outbreak of Covid-19 forced the filmmakers to postpone the release indefinitely.

Apart from Mohanlal and his son Pranav, the film boasts of a star-studded cast including Arjun Sarja, Sunil Shetty, Prabhudheva, Prabhu, Manju Warrier, Keerthy Suresh and Kalyani Priyadarshan among others.

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