Malayalam film-makers' intention to capitalise on the Koodathayi serial murders, which have been hogging headlines, became evident with three production houses announcing movies based on the sensational case.
Six persons in a family were murdered in Koodathayi village Kerala's Kozhikode district over a period of 14 years from 2002 to 2016. The mystery behind the deaths was unravelled last week when police arrested the prime suspect Jolly Joseph, 47. Police sources said Jolly had confessed that she had served cyanide-laced food to her victims in an apparent bid to claim the family property. Two other persons suspected to have partnered Jolly – Mathew and Prijikumar – have also been arrested.
The carefully-executed murders, which look like a movie script, might have enticed the film-makers to announce their projects.
On Wednesday, producer Antony Perumbavoor announced a film based on the serial murders with Mohan Lal in the lead role as an investigating officer.
Antony told Malayala Manorama that the serial murders will replace the plot of a crime movie that was planned earlier. The film is expected to go on floors by February next year. He, however, has not revealed details of the cast and crew.
Two more film-makers have revealed their intentions, with one of them claiming that their team had announced the movie first.
Actress Dini Daniel took to Facebook on Tuesday, announcing that the work on their movie titled Koodathayi had already begun. In her post, she expressed concern about the future of the project with Antony announcing the big-budget Lal movie.
"We have officially released the first-look poster of 'Koodathayi' on Facebook yesterday (Monday). But we were shocked to read the news (about Mohan Lal movie) in Manorama today (Tuesday). What next?" she wrote on Facebook.
The poster announced that Ronex Philip is the director of the movie, produced by Alex Jacob. The screenplay is by Vijeesh Thundathil.
Another aspiring filmmaker Arun T Mohan told Onmanorama that he too was keen on making a Koodathayi-murder based movie, but with two films already announced, he has his own reservations.
Director Jeethu Joseph, who delivered hits like Drishyam was to do a crime thriller with Mohanlal. With Koodathayi hitting the headlines, the makers have decided to develop this one as their storyline.
Mammootty's CBI-5 in the offing?
Adding to the excitement, reports suggested that Mammootty's hugely-successful CBI series will get another sequel soon. The movie is tentatively titled CBI 5, reports suggested. Sources in the industry told Onmanorama that the series is based on a similar serial killer investigation. Reportedly, Mammootty will be appearing as a retired CBI official, while new faces will be seen in other major roles. However, there is no official confirmation on the same from the makers.
Two films on same murder
This is not the first time that a movie is being made based on a murder. In 1966, two movies were Mynatharuvi Kola Case and Madatharuvi were made based on a murder case. The case involved the 1966 murder of a widow named Mariyakutty, in which a priest, Fr. Benedict Onamkulam, was convicted.
While one movie had Sathyan, Sheela, Adoor Bhasi and Hari in the lead roles, the other one saw Sukumari, Adoor Bhasi, Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair and Musthafa in the lead roles. Both were financed by the leading production houses of then Udaya and Thomas Pictures. Interestingly, both the movies were released in a week's gap.