After playing an angry boxing coach in Sudha Kongara’s 2016 film Irudhi Suttru (Saala Khadoos in Hindi), R Madhavan will be seen as an ill-tempered encounter cop in the upcoming Tamil thriller Vikram Vedha alongside actor Vijay Sethupathi. Directed by filmmaking duo Gayathri-Pushkar (Oram Po, Va Quarter Cutting), the film is a modern twist on the folk tale of King Vikramaditya and the ghoul Vetal, the makers explained in a press conference.

Set in North Chennai, the neo-noir film traces the lives of a cop and a criminal (Sethupathi). “Apart from Kamal Haasan, Vijay Sethupathi is the most intelligent actor I have worked with,” Madhavan said at the gathering, going on to say that Sethupathi must be taken not only to Bollywood, but also to Hollywood.

This film marks the first collaboration between the two actors. Madhavan has also said that he was open to making the film in a Mumbai setting in Hindi.

Sethupathi is known for his critically acclaimed performances, including in Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom (2012) and Soodhu Kavvum (2013). “I wonder how the Vikramaditya-Vedalam story had not been touched by filmmakers yet. It is part of our folklore,” he said at the press conference.

The film’s trailer was released earlier in the month. “It is easy to choose between a hero and villain in a story. Whom will you choose if both the characters are evil,” asks Sethupathi’s Vedha in the trailer, grabbing Madhavan’s shoulders with rage.

Vikram Vedha (2017).