If you’re the sort who wonders ‘What if’ often, here’s something for you — a casting list packed with actors and stars such as Sivakarthikeyan, Arya, Harish Kalyan and Kalyani Priyadarshan that explores possible permutations and combinations of unrealised Tamil remakes of Telugu hits that starred big names such as Mahesh Babu, Ram Charan, Nani, Samantha Akkineni and Sai Pallavi.
Sekhar Kammula’s Fidaa may not have achieved the cult status that his previous romantic films — Anand and Godavari — did. But it created a new generation of audience for his works, just like what Happy Days did. Ask Telugu engineering students about Happy Days, and you’ll most probably hear them break into “Oh My Friend.” Fidaa, on the other hand, was softer and dealt with the coming together of people from different backgrounds. With this movie, young stars Varun Tej and Sai Pallavi got a foothold in the industry. It would be interesting to watch Harish Kalyan and Nivedhithaa Sathish step into their shoes, and watch Arjun Das and Sai Dhanshika in the roles of their siblings (played by Raja Chembolu and Saranya Pradeep in the original).
Since we are in the What if… mode, what if Dhruv Vikram had chosen this film to kick-start his career, instead of Varmaa / Adithya Varma?
Rangasthalam is a tricky film. Look at how Sukumar sketches the characters — all the principal characters have two sides to them. And, here’s the thing about this movie — it’s a fun drama in so many places and it takes a turn when caste conflict enters the picture. Rangasthalam is considered the brightest in Ram Charan’s horizon for a reason.
What if… Arya does the remake? He’d be perfect. Even Sivakarthikeyan would do justice to the role, and since he’s been trying to give his image a makeover for a while now, this might just do the trick.
After watching Kalyani Priyadarshan in Putham Pudhu Kaalai, she could reprise the role made memorable by Samantha Akkineni in the original. As for Chittibabu’s (Ram Charan) brother played by Aadhi Pinisetty, Vikram Prabhu could take that up. It’s right up his alley, for he showed what he could do in an ensemble. Remember Vaanam Kottattum?
Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu (2013)
No other Telugu comedy drama has better captured the ties between brothers the way this movie has. Peddodu (meaning the elder one; Venkatesh) and Chinnodu (the younger one; Mahesh Babu) don’t yell at each other when they’re angry. Instead, they kick flower pots! And they don’t talk about how much they miss each other either when they’re not in the same town. You don’t watch such sibling-bonhomie every day on-screen. Prasanna could pull off a Peddodu, with Ashok Selvan or Sivakarthikeyan walking into the manor as Chinnodu. The bonus you’d get is roping in Sneha to match steps with Prasanna and, maybe, Madonna Sebastian could take up the position occupied by Samantha in SVSC!
The script would have to be reworked to bring in the Tamil quotient as the original has a lot of Telugu-ness in its dialogues and situations (even the dialect is a little different from run-of-the-mill dramas).
Jersey received unanimous response from the critics and audience alike. The only niggling factor is that the male protagonist Arjun (Nani) sacrifices his life for the sake of his passion. It’s silly to think that he gave up his precious years for a jersey that he could have bought for a few hundred rupees. But that’s exactly where the heart of the movie lies. Arya, Jiiva, and Vishnu Vishal are the three people who can take that spot. They’re good actors and have played for the Celebrity Cricket League in the past. Vishnu Vishal used to be a cricketer before he turned actor. They can drive the narrative well since they already have expertise on their side.
Although there are several actors who could fill in the role essayed beautifully by Shraddha Srinath, Trisha tops the list.
Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya (2019)
A rib-tickling thriller is hard to make, but filmmaker Swaroop RSJ showed us that he could do it without compromising on the subject. This could be Santhanam’s home turf, if he tones down the double entendres and focuses on getting good writers on board. Gautham Karthik is an option too, after giving half-baked adult comedies a break. Also, after seeing SJ Suryah’s comic timing in Monster, he could fit the bill too. What if one of them joins hands with the brutally underrated Janani Iyer? Wouldn’t that make for a cool thriller?