Malayalam star Dulquer Salmaan will play legendary Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan in the upcoming film 'Mahanati', a biopic on veteran south Indian actress Savitri.

Dulquer reportedly saw off competition from Tamil stars Suriya and R Madhavan to land the role. Directed Nag Ashwin, the film will be made in Telugu and Tamil, marking Dulquer's Tollywood debut as well.

Samantha Ruth Prabhu has also been cast as a journalist in a pivotal role. It is understood that the story will be narrated through her perspective. The project will start rolling from June.

Reports say Keerthy Suresh is in talks to play Savitri, while Anushka Shetty is bring considered for the role of Jamuna, Savitri's friend and contemporary. The rest of the cast is yet to be finalised.  The project will be produced by Vyjayanthimala Films, which revealed that film's the Tamil title will be 'Nadigaiyar Thilagam'.

Born in 1936, Savitri made her acting debut through the 1950 film 'Samsaram', before starring in classics such as 'Devadasu', 'Missamma', 'Penin Perumai', 'Pasa Malar', 'Mayabazaar' and 'Gundamma Katha'. She has also directed films such as 'Chinnari Papalu', 'Chiranjeevi' and 'Mathru Devatha'.

(with agency inputs)