In Kaala, Rajinikanths name is Karikalan and his close associates refer to him as Kaala Sait. The films director Ranjith says that Rajinikanth wanted him to do a sequel to Kabali but the personal experiences in Dharavi inspired the filmmaker to write a fresh script.
Ranjith also said that he found the criticism on the weak villain link in Kabali to be valid so he roped in Nana Patekar, who plays a powerful antagonist in Kaala. The director revealed that the main inspiration for Rajinikanths character is his own granddad.
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