Popular Tamil cinema actor Vijay Sethupathi is set to star as iconic Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah muralidharan in upcoming biopic”800”.
With 800 wickets in test match cricket and 534 in one day internationals, Muralitharan is the bowler with world records for the highest number of wickets in both versions of the sport. He retired in 2011 and is currently the mentor for the SunRisers Hyderabad franchise in the Indian Premier League tournament, helping them to win the championship in 2016.
M.S. Sripathy (“Kanimozhi”) has co-written the film alongside acclaimed novelist Shehan Karunatilaka, author of “Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew,” that won the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize, and will direct.
Moments after the motion poster of the film was unveiled, ‘Shame on Vijay Sethupathi’ trend caught on in a big way on Twitter. Netizens were displeased with Vijay Sethupathi for backing a film on Muralitharan, who has had a controversial stand over the decades-long civil war between the Sri Lanka government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), that sought a separate state for the Tamils in the Sinhalese-majority country.
Netizens brought out the 48-year-old’s statement allegedly denying the ‘genocide’ of Tamils in the clashes that ended with the government’s victory in 2009, Muralitharan had then got flak for his statement and for expressing his support to the ruling Rajapaksa family. Some expressed anger about a Tamil actor wearing the Sri Lankan flag on his jersey.