Kochadaiyaan is an upcoming Tamil period film to be directed by Soundarya R. Ashwin and written by K. S. Ravikumar. The film will feature Rajinikanth alongside an ensemble cast, including R. Sarathkumar, Aadhi, Deepika Padukone, Shobana, Rukmini Vijayakumar, Jackie Shroff and Nassar. The film, which is expected to be shot with motion capture in 3D, will have cinematography handled by Rajiv Menon whilst background score and soundtrack will be composed by A. R. Rahman. It will also release in Hindi,Telugu, Japanese and English.
Rajinikanth's next film, after his prior successful venture with S. Shankar's Enthiran (2010), was supposed to be Rana, a historical drama film to be directed by K. S. Ravikumar and dually-produced by Soundarya R. Ashwin's Ocher Picture Productions and Eros Entertainment. However, Rajinikanth became ill and was treated for dehydration and exhaustion at a hospital, resulting in postponement of Rana's filming. On 23 November 2011, Soundarya posted a message on her Twitter account, notifying followers to "look out for an official announcement very soon". The following day, she announced that her father's next film would beKochadaiyaan and that she was "[grateful and] excited to be directing [her] father". A tentatively scheduled release period of August 2012 was also announced. The film was finalised to be a co-production of Eros Entertainment and Media One Global. Soundarya further stated that K. S. Ravikumar had worked with her father and herself on the script of the film. With regards to the film's title, Ravikumar claimed that it drew reference to an alternate name of Hindu deity Shiva, while also being partly inspired by the name of thePandya Dynasty king Kochadaiyan Ranadhiran, and that the plot would be a "fictional account with small references to history".The director clarified that Kochadaiyaan was not related to the same-titled history series being published by the Tamil magazineKumudam.
For the female lead role, Anushka Shetty was initially approached, but sources confirmed later that she was not part of the film.It was then rumoured that Sushmita Sen and Vidya Balan were being considered for the role, since producers preferred a Bollywood actress. Soundarya R. Ashwin approached Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif in January 2012, who was not able to give her dates and the team reapproached Balan. Despite reports that Kaif was finalised, Deepika Padukone, who was slated to pair with Rajinikanth in Rana, took up the offer in February 2012, marking her debut in Tamil cinema. The film began to increase its casting profile after Malayalam actor Prithviraj was rumoured to have been signed to play an important role in the film. The rumour was falsified following the inclusion of Aadhi, who was known for his lead-role performances in Mirugam (2007) and Eeram (2009), in the cast; when he confirmed his presence in the project, he remarked that working with Rajinikanth was "a realisation of a dream that he has had since childhood". Sneha was reported to be finalised for a supporting role, with the actress confirming her presence in the film in December 2011. She, however, opted-out a couple months later citing conflicts in her schedule and Rukmini Vijayakumar, who made her debut in the film Bommalattam (2008), was signed in her place. R. Sarathkumar accepted Soundarya's offer for an important role in the film while veteran actor Nassar was recruited in the film as well for a supporting role. Furthermore, Shobana and Lakshmi Manchu were said to be considered for a role in the film, but Soundarya later confirmed that the former was added to the cast saying that she was the "only choice for the role" as the character was written keeping her in mind. Soundarya disclaimed the rumour that Aishwarya Rai was chosen to do a guest appearance in the film. Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff, who was last seen in Tamil cinema playing a crucial role in the critically acclaimed Aaranya Kaandam (2011), was also signed up for an antagonistic role.
Unconfirmed reports emerged claiming that the film will feature late actors like Nagesh, P. S. Veerappa, M. N. Nambiar, S. A. Ashokan, and R. S. Manohar recreated through sophisticated animation techniques. Peter Hein was chosen as the film's action choreographer, while A. R. Rahman agreed to compose the film's background score and soundtrack. Rajiv Menon was recruited as the film's cinematographer. Soundarya made an open invite via Twitter to art professionals to send their demo and work as she was looking for "special art department" for the film.
The film is expected to be the first Indian 3D film shot with the kind of performance capturing technology used in films such as Avatar (2009) and The Adventures of Tintin (2011).K. S. Ravikumar, story writer of the film, announced that the filming will commence on 15 January 2012 and finish before March 2012. The first schedule of indoor shooting started with Rajinikanth's style and his action filmed for motion capturing. The film was launched with a formal puja on 19 January 2012 at the actor's favourite Ganesha temple located inside AVM Studios in Vadapalani, Chennai. First-look posters of the film were released on 5 February 2012. The first schedule of the film shooting was getting kickstart from March 2012 onwards with formal shooting on 15 March 2012 at Chennai, following this, the team went to London along with the lead actor Rajinikanth to continue the first schedule. Before he started to London for 20 days shooting along with Soundarya and Ravikumar, Rajinikanth claimed tha the film may see 2012 Diwali release. After completing the first schedule of the film in London, Rajinikanth returned to Chennai on 2 April 2012 and the next schedule of the film shooting was planned to be held in Tamilnaduand Kerala. Soundarya has roped in Saroj Khan, Raju Sundaram, Chinni Prakash and his wife, and Shobi to choreograph the songs. Hairstyle of Rajinikanth was inspired from his earlier look in Thalapathi (1991).
The second schedule of the film was shot in Thiruvananthapuram at Chitranjali studio and Vismayas Max studio which is owned by Malayalam actor Mohanlal. The crew has completed the second schedule on 30 April 2012. Director soundarya posted this on her Twitter page. A sizzling romantic number choreographed by Saroj Khan featuring the leading duo was filmed in early May 2012 at the part of second schedule. It was said that the entire film shooting would be completed in the second schedule itself and the post-production work would start after this. However the team flew to Hong Kong with the lead actor Rajninkanth for the third schedule of the film on 12 May 2012.
Rajinikanth has rendered his voice for a song in the Kochadaiyaan soundtrack. The song which is said to be a philosophical theme song, composed by A. R. Rahman and penned by Vairamuthu. was recorded on 11 March 2012. This is the second time that the actor took part in playback singing for a film, earlier he had rendered his voice for a song called "Adikuthu Kuliru" in the film Mannan that was released in 1992. Rajinikanth sung the theme song in Hindi version also, which was co-sung by A. R. Rahman and penned by Irshad Kamil, recorded at London on 31 March 2012 during the first schedule of the film shooting. The song, composed of Hindi and Urdu lyrics said to be a completely different from its original Tamil version. The album is expected to be realesed in June.