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Written By Chiyaan CVF on Thursday, August 28, 2014 | 8:39 AM

Arnold Schwarzenegger has apparently accepted the invitation from the makers of Ai to be the chief guest for the film's audio launch. The Hollywood superstar recently hosted a dinner for Ramesh Babu, the brother of the film's producer Aascar Ravichandran, in Los Angeles.

Says Ravichandran, “During their dinner, my brother had shown footage from Ai to Arnold , and the actor had remarked that the visuals looked like they were from a Hollywood film. He was especially impressed with the video showing Vikram's efforts to transform himself for the character. Being a champion body builder himself, Arnold was impressed by how Vikram could manage to put on a weight of 120kg and later bring it down drastically to weigh a mere 50kg for this role.“

The producer adds that with Arnold's participation confirmed, the audio launch will take place in Chennai on September 15. The venue, however, isn't finalized yet because the team wants a place that they can take over for a week to erect a grand stage.


Chennai Times got a sneak peek at the visuals of Ai recently and from the 50-second teaser and a song screened for us, it looks like the film will be worth the long wait of two-and-a-half years for fans. Vikram sports multiple looks in the teaser, from that of a hulk to a hunchback with a disfigured, almost unrecognizable, face. Even for a Shankar film, the frames have a grandeur that is stunning. And the song, Ennodu Nee Irundhaal, a fantasy number on the lines of The Beauty and the Beast picturized on the lead pair, is shot like an international music video. Vikram appears as a Wolfmanlike creature with horns while Amy Jackson is the damsel in distress.

The huge set, resembling a creepy cavern, and the makeup and costumes of the supporting dancers resemble something you would see in a Guillermo del Toro film.

Credits : Times OF India / Chennai Times

The unimaginable 50 second Ai teaser - An exclusive sneak peek

Ever since the recent announcement about Shankar - Chiyaan Vikram's Ai being a Diwali release, the film has shot back into the limelight in a big way. The producer Aascar Films Ravichandran also revealed his grand plans to launch the audio in Chennai and Hyderabad in the month of September, with the likes of Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger in attendance.

This being the case, a few of us at Behindwoods recently met the maverick producer for an extensive interaction and also joined the lucky select few to get a glimpse at the 50 seconds rough cut teaser. This teaser carried a 'dummy music score' and not Rahman's, it must be noted. Ravichandran reiterated that the Vikram which we were going to see was a result of extensive make-up and not computer generated imagery by any means. What we saw left us speechless and absolutely stunned!

The teaser packs visuals of Vikram in various makeovers

- as a cool and handsome dude romancing Amy Jackson in exotic visuals in typical Shankar style.

- as an intense body builder sporting a fabulous physique and a thick moustache

- as a growling beastly creature (werewolf / gorilla-man) with hair all over the body, wild teeth and horns above. The presence of Vikram in this make-over is really intriguing and one wonders if this is just for a dream song sequence or for some actual scenes too.

- as a deformed, crippled person (sporting a hood) with a heavily disfigured face and limbs, due to some sort of allergic skin reaction. Seeing Vikram in this avatar, the 1980 Hollywood movie 'Elephant Man' might come to mind for those who have seen it.

It took some time for us to fathom what we saw and we asked for a repeat of the teaser, which the producer happily obliged. The visuals of Vikram first working out in a room packed with mirrors and then standing in the same room in the aforementioned disfigured, crippled form, gives us a little idea of the film's plot.

The action sequences are grand and along the lines of what Shankar has envisaged in his glorious career till date. The exotic locations and the visual of Vikram riding a bike which keeps 'transforming', again screams SHANKAR and his brand of grandeur.

Anyone who sees this remarkably impactful teaser would keep rewinding what he / she saw, to relive the experience over and over again. If a rough 50 second teaser could leave such a long-lasting impact, what will the actual movie result in? The prospects are endless.

Shankar, Aascar Films, Chiyaan Vikram and the whole crew have taken a major step to take Indian cinema to the next level and make the world stop and take notice of our movie industry. Ravichandran's pride and satisfaction at Shankar's end product seems totally justified.

Credits :

Vikram as Wolf Man in 'Ai'?

Written By Chiyaan CVF on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | 11:13 PM

There isn’t a day passing without any surprises from team ‘Ai’, the latest one is, the producer has revealed that; Vikram has undergone lots of trouble to sport the look of a Wolf Man. In order to sport this look, Vikram has put on 50+ kgs and shed 70kgs later to finish the rest of the portions.

The picture of Wolf Man was already on the net, but the picture does not reveal the face of Vikram. It shows the left wrist and the makeup man is busy doing his work. Now, after the press meet of Aascar Ravichandran we are getting some sort of idea about the look and the photo which is already doing its rounds.

Su Ba, the dialogue writer for ‘Ai’ has posted saying, the letter ‘Ai’ carries different meanings such as, King, Leader, Soft, Beauty, Teacher, and Poison. If we go by the synonym of the letter ‘Ai’, the story could be a mixture of all the above and the movie buffs will be assured of a feast!

Source :

Ai set for Deepavali release ! says Aascar Ravichandran

It has been long in the making, but now Shankar's Ai has got a release date -Deepavali 2014. The Vikram-Amy Jackson-starrer is said to be a romantic action thriller. Confirming the news, the film's producer Aascar Ravichandran says,

“Yes, we are planning to release the film on Deepavali. We are looking to launch the audio of the film on September 15 or a week after that. Hollywood superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger has agreed to be the chief guest for the event.“ According to the producer, the team is looking at having audio launch functions for the Telugu and Hindi versions of the film as well. Apparently, the team is in talks with another Hollywood superstar, Jackie Chan, to be the chief guest for one of these launches.

“The film is almost complete, with only parts of a song featuring Amy left to be shot. The visual effects work is also over and currently, re-recording work on the film is going on,“ adds Ravichandran.

Credits : Times of India / Chennai Times

Chiyaan Vikram is embodiment of commitment: Aascar Ravichandran

Written By Chiyaan CVF on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 | 10:30 PM

Ace producer Aascar Ravichandran is in awe of actor Vikram's commitment in upcoming Tamil action-thriller "Ai", for which the latter has spent over two years shooting without ever complaining about the time invested.

"Vikram is the embodiment of commitment. I haven't seen an actor who has spent over two years on a project. Vikram is an exception when it comes to his dedication towards a film. Never did he complain about the time invested in the project," Ravichandran told.

"For one particular look in the film, Vikram was required to spend 12 hours in the makeup room for many days. He sports three different looks in the film and for one of which he had to weigh about 120 kg and considerably reduce by half for the other," he said.

One of the looks of Vikram in the movie is that of a werewolf.

Reportedly made on a budget of Rs 180 crore, "Ai" is gearing up for Diwali release.

"The film is currently in its post-production. If all goes as planned, we plan to release it on Diwali in as many as 3000 screens worldwide," he said.

"Ai" was predominantly shot in China, and Ravichandran has special plans to release the film in the country.

"We are planning to release the film in China in maximum screens possible. We spent a lot of time shooting in China. One of the songs in the film along with some stunt sequences was shot in China over a period of two months," he added.

Directed by Shankar, "Ai" also features Upen Patel, Amy Jackson and Suresh Gopi in important roles. Double Oscar-winning composer A.R Rahman has composed the tunes.

The film's audio launch will happen here Sep 15. Ravichandran has plans to invite a few Hollywood starlets to the event.

New Zealand-based special effects company "Weta Workshop", popular for their work in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, has worked on a large scale in "Aia.

"Makeup and special effects will be the biggest highlights of the film. Audiences will be amazed by the kind of work one can achieve with special effects nowadays," said Ravichandran. 

Arnold & Jackie Chan to launch the Audio of Ai?

Aascar Ravichandran, the producer of Ai has confirmed Jackie Chan for the Tolly launch and says Arnild Schwarzenegger is likely to come to chennai for Tamil Launch

Audio launches in tinsel town have become glitzy events with cheif guests seeming to be cherry picked from the Hollywood A-list. The latest film from Kollywood to have created the right buzz is Vikram starrer, Ai. Produced by Aascar RaviChandran, with music from A.R.Rahman, and directed by none other than Shankar, the Tamil film could have Arnold Schwarzenegger attending its audio launch while Jackie Chan, the action specialist, will be a special guest at the audio launch of its Telugu Version titled Manoharudu, in Hyderabad.

"We are looking for a good venue, one that suits the event, in Chennai. If that is done, Arnold will come for the function," says Aascar Ravichandran. The Producer is friends with both the Hollywood actors.

However, he has completely denied the news that Arnold is playing a cameo in his much talked about film, that has Vikram playing the lead along with actress, Amy Jackson.

On Sunday, the producer unveiled a song and the trailer of the film to the media. "Vikram put on weight - to weigh nearly 120kg for his character - and also reduced his weight by 50kg for the same purpose," says Aascar. "Vikram met Arnold, who has been Mr Universe, to get some tips from him on weight loss"

The budget of the film is 180 crored, th first film in Indian cinema with such a high budget. The producer is planning to release the film this Diwali. "The film is going to be released in China in nearly 15,000 theatres," the producer says.

The Chinese government will permit only 50 foreign films annually to release there, the Vikram starrer being one of them this year. China has the largest number of theatres 30,000 and in this is the first time that an Indian film is going to release in 15,000 theatres, "We are dubbing the film into Chinese,Taiwanese, Japanese and several other languages, "says the producer. Worldwide, the film is releasing in 20,000 theatres.

"This film will be a sensation," according to Aascar, comparing its director Shankar to James Cameron.

Lead actor Vikram goes in for special make-up for this film which takes nearly 12 hrs to effect. " He faced so many difficulties and even health problems, but worked hard for this film. Sometimes he has required to stay in a 0-degree temperatures as the make-up required a coll temperature," says Aascar. He added they made a specially big refrigerator for Vikram who used to spend time there after his make-up was on.

Shankar roped in many foreign technicians to work on the film, Which needed computer graphics and other technology. A five minute song in the film called for a 40-day shoot.

The entire film took two years and eight months to complete. "The film as been shot extensively in China," says Aascar. Its post production work is nearly complete and is all set to hit the theatres.

Aascar has produced nearly 80 films, including Robot,Aparchitudu and Dasavatharam, and is the sole distributor of the film in India. He has also distributed many Jackie Chan and Arnold films.

Credits : Deccan Chronicle/Chennai Times

When Vikram knocked at Abhishek Bachchan’s door

Written By Chiyaan CVF on Monday, August 25, 2014 | 8:18 AM

Abhishek Bachchan's camaraderie with actor Vikram is now widely known. On his recent visit to the city, Bachchan Junior recalled how their friendship began. An avid Vikram fan, Abhishek has extensively spoken in many of his interviews about his respect for the actor.

"I remember I was shooting the climax of my film Run in ECR. After a long day, I had come back to my hotel room for a shower when I heard someone knocking at the door," recalls Abhishek. He opened the door and saw Vikram standing.

"I was taken aback. He said he had read one of my interviews where I had said that I am his fan and he came all the way to thank me. I was pleasantly surprised because I was staying at least an hour away from the city and he made that effort to visit me," informs Abhishek. "We ended up having dinner together that evening and have been thick friends since then," he adds.

Credits : Times Of India

Ai is set to have the biggest 'audio launch' ever !

It is time for the long in the making 'Ai' to start creating the ideal buzz through promotions. Till date, the whole crew has managed to keep everything under wraps by not even giving an iota of peep about the movie. Vikram is said to have gone extremes for this romantic-thriller.

With the deadly Rahman-Shankar combo tirelessly working for another blockbuster album, producer Aascar Ravichandran is planning for the grandest audio launch ever. It may be recalled that for Dasavathaaram, he brought international martial art icon Jackie Chan.

Ai's audio launch is touted to happen after September 15th or before the end of that month. The main reason behind the delay is, to bring in all the high profile guests for the launch.

Ai is bound to get bigger day by day!

Source :


Written By Chiyaan CVF on Thursday, August 21, 2014 | 10:27 PM

Music composer and technician Pravin Mani has been behind some of your favorite tunes for years now. A long-time friend and collaborator of Oscar Winner AR Rahman, Mani has put his musical touch on several blockbuster albums in Tamil and world cinema, and, most recently, helped to produce the highly anticipated Ai soundtrack. Here Mani took the time to chat with Behindwoods columnist Dilani about his career in the Tamil music industry and what we can all expect from the music of Shankar`s next magnum opus.

Credits : 


How has the process of working on Ai's album been so far?
Ai has been radical, I think it's going to be a kick-ass album, it`s going to be a groundbreaker. Shankar and Rahman have always created something different. 

Enthiran was a radical movie where Shankar kind of went into science fiction. But with Ai he's taken an even more different turn. It's got great singers, every song is brilliant. AR is going to take Tamil music through another change with this album. I can see the songs just taking off.
I was called to finish the project. I worked on it for about two months; everything was done and there were a few ancillaries to be recorded and some corrections to be done. It'll still come back to me. Tweaks will keep happening until the film comes out...and sometimes after all the time we spend tweaking we end up going back to the original!

Ai has been radical, I think it's going to be a kick-ass album

The plot of Ai is very heavily guarded. But what we know for sure is to expect grandeur. Can you tell us how the music complements the grandeur of the film?
You know what happens between Rahman and Shankar! The understanding between them is mind-blowing. Everything just falls in place. I don’t think anyone will complain. Everything absolutely complements – every theme, every little bit and piece.

It's 2014 AR and Shankar - you can only imagine what's going to happen. Everybody's been places, everyone's done stuff. Computers have only got faster. It's amazing the kind of stuff that can happen musically and visually with graphics. It's quite different. There are a lot of physical transformations from Vikram. That's one thing I can tell you, that after seeing the film it's's worked hard. Everything looks good. I can't wait for the film to release!

Wow... Vikram has worked hard

A.R Rahman has crooned for Vikram in Ai

Written By Chiyaan CVF on Sunday, August 17, 2014 | 10:22 AM

Shankar’s Ai is AR Rahman’s third film for Vikram. His first film for Vikram was Pudhiya Mannargal and later he composed for Chiyaan in Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan four years back. Rahman did not sing for Vikram in both films, save alone the additional vocals in ‘Veera’ song in Raavanan. But, the film’s climax had a soulful mini-song crooned by AR Rahman titled ‘Naan Varuven’, which was only added in the album’s collector’s edition.

Now, for Shankar directorial AI, AR Rahman has lent his voice for Vikram for a song, which will be the highlight of the film. Vikram has donned different costumes for this special song and delivered a floor-scorching performance, says a source. AI is arguably is the most anticipated film of the year.

Credits :

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