|The 19th Step|
|Directed by||Bharat Bala|
|Produced by||BharatBala Productions
Walt Disney Pictures
|Written by||M. T. Vasudevan Nair|
|Music by||A.R. Rahman
The 19th Step is an upcoming film directed by Bharat Bala, co-produced and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures India. The film stars Japanese film actor Tadanobu Asano as well as Tamil film actors Vikram, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Asin Thottumkal and Pasupathy in the lead roles. This film is a trilingual that will be filmed in Tamil, English and Japanese, as well as a dubbed versions in Hindi, Malayalam and Telugu. This is Walt Disney India's first Tamil film. Production was scheduled to start in June 2009, but has been postponed until at least early 2010 due to budget and cast availability problems.
The story of this film revolves around a Japanese samurai warrior (Tadanobu Asano) who travels to Kerala to learn the secrets of the ancient Dravidian martial art of Kalaripayattu from a veteran martial art trainer (Vikram). In the process he falls in love with a beautiful Chera princess (Asin Thottumkal). Whether he learns the martial art and whether he wins her love or not, forms the core of the story.
The film is based on a script written by famous Malayali-writer M. T. Vasudevan Nair, a four-time National Film Award winner for Best Screenplay. A. R. Rahman will score music for the film along with the Japanese film composer Joe Hisaishi. Soundmixer Resul Pookutty was also roped in.
Earlier, the film was launched with the anticipation that Kamal Haasan would portray the role of a martial arts trainer, however, he later dropped out of the production sets due to disagreements with scheduled dates of shooting. The role later went to Vikram.