After biopics on gangsters, headline-grabbing filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has turned his attention to Telugu cinema icon NT Rama Rao.

Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao starred in over 300 films, won numerous awards, and served as Andhra Pradesh chief minister for seven years. The biopic will examine Rao’s rivals and reportedly highlight unknown aspects of his life.

“NTR is a name to reckon with every Telugu-speaking individual,” Varma told IANS. “He was not just a great actor but a leader with unprecedented following. I’m very proud to direct a film on his life.”

Varma claimed to have watched the NTR starrer Adavi Ramudu 23 times when it was released in 1977. Nandamuri Balakrishna, who is NTR’s son, will reportedly play the role of NTR’s father in the film.

Varma’s biopics include Rakta Charitra (on Paritala Ravi) and Vangaveeti (on the Vangaveeti brothers). His Sarkar trilogy is loosely inspired by Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. The director, who has had a poor run at the box office of late, has also expressed his interest in chronicling the life of J Jayalalithaa’s aide and confidante VK Sasikala.