The film will be directed by Shoojit Sircar, who has just wrapped up the shooting of Vicky Donor, which is his breezy satire on sperm donation, featuring veejay Ayushmaan in the lead. And John has co-produced the film.
“John is a politically aware actor. He reads the newspaper every morning, knows what’s going on in the world. He is clued in to the dynamics of the separatist strife in Sri Lanka. The minute I told him about my film Jaffna, he was on board,” said Sircar.
John will produce Jaffna as well.
Not willing to divulge too many details at the moment, Sircar says it’s a political thriller set in the troubled violence-ridden city of Jaffna.
John would be in and out of Sri Lanka in the coming months to get a hang of the political situation in the pretty little country.
“I am no stranger to themes of separatism and extremist violence. My first film Yahaan was about Kashmiri separatism. And now Jaffna would be carrying the theme of extremism to another extreme,” said Sircar.
Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film Kannathil Muttumital with R. Madhavan in the lead is one of the notable films on the LTTE.
“But that was a love story set against the LTTE backdrop. My film is a political thriller,” asserts Sircar.
Though not willing to divulge too many details on John’s character, the director hinted that the actor would require a great deal of preparation for his part.
“John believes in Jaffna, as much as he believes in Vicky Donor. That’s why he stepped in to produce both the projects. He saw the full film Vicky Donor and was completely kicked by it. He thinks Ayushmaan is a star in the making. I can’t deny Ayushmaan has given an absolutely natural performance and even composed a track, a love ballad, for Vicky Donor,” said the director.
“We shot the film in Delhi, my hometown and Ayushmaan’s. I know scores of films are shot in the capital. But I’d like to think I’ve captured Delhi like no one before,” he added.
John would be going all-out to generate awareness about sperm donation in the weeks preceding the release of Vicky Donor. He will also be shooting a promotional video with Shoojit Sircar.
“It’s not an item song, as reported in a section of the film. Please! Vickey Donor is a humorous take on sperm donation. Where would an item song fit in? John is doing a promotional video on why sperm donation is not something to be giggled about behind closed doors,” said Sircar, whose Johnny Mastana didn’t find favours.