R Madhavan will play the lead in a biopic on the life of controversial Indian Space Research Organisation scientist Nambi Narayanan, The Times of India reported. Directors S Rajamouli and Ananth Mahadevan are reportedly being considered to helm the trilingual film, which will be released in Tamil, Hindi and English.

Madhavan will play the scientist at three different stages of his life, from the age of 27 to 75, the report revealed. The actor has been gaining weight to portray the character in the film. “I am packing on the pounds religiously for my upcoming film — it’s probably the most exciting project of my life,” Madhavan told Times of India.

Nambi Narayanan introduced liquid fuel rocket technology when he was in charge of ISRO’s cryogenic project. In 1994, Narayan was one of six accused of selling cryogenic project secrets to people acting as spies for Russia, Pakistan and other countries. He was acquitted in the case in 1996, and has since been fighting a legal battle against the persons who implicated him in the case. In October this year, Narayanan launched his autobiography, titled Ormakalude Bhramanapathadham (In the Orbit of Memories).

Nambi Narayanan. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Nambi Narayanan. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.