Ravikumar to direct, Rajnikanth to star

MUMBAI — Indian film company Eros Intl. has teamed with Ocher Studios to produce “Rana,” which will topline Tamil star Rajnikanth.

The pic’s helmer, K.S. Ravikumar, has directed two hits with the thesp in the past — 1995’s “Muthu” and 1999’s “Padayappa.”

Rajnikanth’s 2010 Tamil release “Endhiran” (known as “Robot” in its dubbed Hindi- and Telugu-language versions) is India’s most expensive film to date with a production budget of $34 million. It bowed in the U.S. with $2 million and went on to earn $89 million worldwide.

Eros declined to reveal the “Rana” budget, but described the film as a “magnum opus.”

Principal photography is set to commence in March with a release due in 2012.

Like “Endhiran,” the Tamil “Rana” will have Hindi and Telugu dubbed versions.

A.R. Rahman (“Slumdog Millionaire”) will score the music and Charles Darby (“Rome,” “Matrix”) will be the visual effects supervisor.

Ocher’s animation and live-action film “Hara” (formerly titled “Sultan the Warrior”), also featuring Rajnikanth, has been in the making since 2007.

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