After Bollywood witnessed the biopics of cricketers like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Mohammad Azharuddin and Mithali Raj, makers now narrowed down on of Srilankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who belongs to Tamil migrant community. The film’s first look poster titled as ‘800’ was on social media trends for an odd reason while main lead Vijay Sethupathi was demanded to take back from the film.
As the poster fathomed compliments for a spitting makeover of Vijay as Muralidharan, it did not go well with the others who criticized it with the hashtag #ShameOnVijaySethupathi.
He says May-2009 is the greatest day of his life. If genocide of Tamils is that great to him why can't his biopic be released in sinhalese!? pic.twitter.com/Ki0htAbk3h
— MAHENDRAN THANGAVEL (@RAJARAJAN1000) October 14, 2020
With the unexpected backlash from the netizens, the makers of the film have released an official statement clearing the air. “It came to our notice that our film ‘800’, the biopic of Muthiah Muralitharan featuring Vijay Sethupathi in the lead, is being politicized in many ways. However, we want to clarify that 800 is purely a sports biographical film about the legendary cricketer Muthiah Muralitharan.”
“The film is a journey about a man who hails from the Tamil migrant community, going on to become the highest wicket taker of all time. The film does not make any political statement favouring any community,” the statement read.
‘800’ is touted to be a moving portrayal of Muralitharan, one of cricket’s most brilliant and divisive characters. The film will be shot in Sri Lanka, UK, Australia and India. The shoot is slated to start at the beginning of 2021 and is set to release at the end of next year.
It can be noted that Muralitharan is the only cricketer to have taken 800 wickets in Test cricket. Besides, he also picked up 534 and 13 wickets respectively in 350 ODIs and 12 T20Is.