‘Leo’ Director Lokesh Kanagaraj on Film’s Success

source : variety.com

‘Leo: Bloody Sweet’, starring Vijay, is the fifth Indian film of the year with $72 million. Director Lokesh Kanagaraj is now in high demand.

The film got off to a winning start when it was released in October, debuting in third place at the global box office with a $31.2 million weekend. The action thriller follows a docile cafe owner (Vijay) who is pushed to return to his violent past. The film name refers to David Cronenberg’s 2005 film ‘A History of Violence’.

“It inspired me to write ‘Leo’. ‘A History of Violence’ left its mark on me and from that this film was born. ‘Leo’ is my tribute,” shared Kanagaraj Variety. “The success of ‘Leo’ means a lot, not only to me, but to the entire team.”

After a few short films, Kanagaraj made his feature film debut with “Maanagaram” (2017) and also directed “Master”, starring Vijay. “Leo” is the latest installment in Kanagaraj’s LCU or Lokesh Cinematic Universe, which started with “Kaithi” (2019), continued with “Vikram” in 2022 and retroactively featured the 1986 title “Vikram”. Characters from 2022’s ‘Kaithi’ and ‘Vikram’ will appear in ‘Leo’.

“I’ve always been fascinated by crossover films or making a connection between the films I make. During the writing process of ‘Vikram’, it seemed like a good opportunity to explore the same with my previous film ‘Kaithi’,” Kanagaraj said.

Upcoming films in the LCU include ‘Kaithi 2’, starring Karthi, ‘Vikram 2’, starring Kamal Haasan, and ‘Rolex’, starring Suriya, who had a cameo in ‘Vikram’ as a character named Rolex. “I haven’t started writing it yet, but there is already a basis for it. So once I start writing, I will discover more,” said Kanagaraj.

Kanagaraj’s next film is a project currently identified as “#Thalaivar171”, which means superstar Rajinikanth’s 171st film. “#Thalaivar171 will not be part of LCU, it is a standalone film. It is a genre that I am trying for the first time,” said Kanagaraj.

Another film outside the LCU is the sci-fi epic ‘Irumbukkai Mayavi’, expected to star Suriya.

Talking about the opportunities and challenges within the Tamil language film industry in which Kanagaraj has been active, the filmmaker said, “There are opportunities at every stage of filmmaking, it’s about how you utilize them. When it comes to challenges, I would say ‘writing’ because it anchors the whole process.”

source : variety.com

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