Vijay Sethupathi Pulls out of Film based on Muttiah Muralitharan

Indian actor, Vijay Sethupathi drops out of biopic based on Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan in fear of backlash from India’s Tamil minority.

A film based on legendary Sri Lankan spinner, Muttiah Muralitharan has faced another hurdle after Indian actor drops out of biopic. Popular actor Vijay Sethupathi was all set to start in the biopic on the spinner but was requested by the cricketer to withdraw from the project in fear of the actor facing a backlash from India’s Tamil minority.

This is all stems from accusations made by Tamil politicians who blame Muralitharan for not supporting his fellow Tamils during a bloody civil war that ended in 2009.

The film titled ‘800’ after the world record number of Test wickets Muralitharan took in his career was all set to feature Vijay Sethupathi , playing the role of the cricketer.


“I don’t want one of the finest actors in Tamil Nadu to face any kind of trouble, hence I request him to drop out of the project,” Muralitharan, 48, wrote in a letter tweeted by the actor.

“There should be no obstacles for Sethupathi in the future because of this movie.”

The Sri Lankan spinner hopes that a new lead actor will be announced soon and a source close to the spinner said in Colombo “The movie project will go on without Vijay. Producers are already discussing ways to proceed.”

Sethupathi wrote alongside the image of the letter: “Thank you and goodbye.”

Sethupathi had the following to add “I accepted this biopic because I thought the movie will inspire and provide confidence to aspiring young cricketers,”

Fans were fairly vocal about their displeasure in seeing such a celebrated actor play the role of the spinner. The hashtag #shameonVijaySethupathi was being used by the fans to express their disgust over the situation.

India’s small MDMK party, which opposes the Sinhalese-led government in Sri Lanka had pressurised the actor into rejecting the role when it was first offered to him. The MDMK are adamant in their reasoning saying the cricketer chose to defend Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa was instrumental in defeating the separatist Tamil Tiger insurgency.

Muralitharan is currently serving as the bowling coach for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2020, currently being held in the UAE.