Kannur: Noted filmmaker Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri has managed to pull a casting coup for his Malayalam directorial debut 'Mazhavillinnatamvare' roping in Pakistani cricketer Mohammed Hafeez for the lead role along with former India captain Kapil Dev and Bollywood star Suniel Shetty.
He says he is thrilled because things fell into place after long preparation.
'We will have the puja of the film in Kannur itself and I expect all the three to be present on November 24th,' the multifaceted Namboothiri, who has written lyrics for 300 Malayalam films, told IANS.
He will not only direct the film, but has also penned the story, script, dialogues and songs for the movie.
Elaborating on the storyline, he said this is one film which transcends boundaries and hence the title 'Mazhavillinnatamvare' (Till the end of the rainbow).
'Rainbow is like a bridge that does not have boundaries and it is one through which people can travel. I chose the cast line because the thread of the story is based on cricket and hence cricketers would do justice to what they know best. It would make my job easy because they are all cricketers, who have played at the highest level,' he said.
The lead character of the movie is a Pakistani cricketer who arrives as a bowling coach at a cricket academy in the state searching for his roots.
Mohammed and Suniel have major roles, while Kapil Dev will make a guest appearance.
The others actors in the film include names like Nedumudi Venu, Siddiq, Venjaramoodu Suraj, Kaviyoor Ponnamma and new faces Krishna and Archana Kavi complete the cast list.
Controversial fast bowler Mohammed Asif was chosen to play the lead role, but following allegations of match fixing, he was replaced by Hafeez.
'The film will give a lot of emphasis to music also. There are five songs for which I have written lyrics and my son will make his debut as a music director. Yesudas and Shankar Mahadevan will sing the songs,' said the veteran lyricist who also performs Carnatic music.
The film is being produced by Kannur based A. Mukundan and is expected to hit the screens on the occasion of Vishu.
'We are working out a marketing arrangement for our film in such a manner that it would have a world wide release on the same day,' said Namboothiri.