Captain Miller is a 2024 Indian Tamil-language period action adventure film directed by Arun Matheswaran, and produced by Sathya Jyothi Films. It stars Dhanush in the title role, with an ensemble cast of Priyanka Arul Mohan, Shiva Rajkumar, Sundeep Kishan, John Kokken, and Edward Sonnenblick.
Matheswaran wrote the script in 2018 and Sathya Jyothi Films was to produce it. However, nothing was finalised then until 2019 when it started to come into shape. It was tentatively titled D47 (Dhanush’s 47th film in a lead role). The film was announced in July 2022 and principal photography commenced that September, taking place in Chennai, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi. The music is composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar, cinematography handled by Siddhartha Nuni and editing done by Nagooran Ramachandran.
Captain Miller is scheduled to be released worldwide in January 2024, coinciding with Pongal.
- Dhanush as Captain Miller / Eesa / Analeesan
- Shiva Rajkumar
- Sundeep Kishan
- Priyanka Arul Mohan
- John Kokken
- Edward Sonnenblick
- Nivedhithaa Sathish
- Vinoth Kishan
- Alexx O’Nell
- Elango Kumaravel
- Viji Chandrasekhar
- “Merku Thodarchi Malai” Antony
- Bala Saravanan
- Swayam Siddha
- Sumesh Moor
In 2018, Arun Matheswaran wrote a script which was to be produced by T. G. Thyagarajan’s production company Sathya Jyothi Films. Matheswaran had also shown the script to Dhanush, since he had written the script keeping the actor in mind. However, nothing was finalised and the project took shape again in 2019. In late October 2020, Matheswaran had met Dhanush and discussed the possibilities of collaborating on that project. Impressed by the narration of the script, Dhanush showed interest in what Matheswaran had presented. The project was to enter production after the latter had finished his commitments during that time. In April 2021, Sathya Jyothi Films was reported to produce the film, which would be Dhanush’s 47th. On 24 December that year, Dhanush confirmed reports about his collaboration with Matheswaran.
The film was tentatively titled D47, being the actor’s 47th film in a leading role. In April 2022, multiple sources reported that the film was titled Captain Miller and that it would be set in the 1930s. In an interview to the media in late April, Matheswaran revealed that the film was not about the real life LTTE rebel Captain Miller. He further revealed that it is an action adventure film which would be mounted on a massive budget to cater to a larger audience and would not have any item songs. The film was officially announced on 2 July that year with Captain Miller being confirmed as the title. The director gave that title because he was impressed by Tom Hanks’s character John Miller from Saving Private Ryan (1998). The project went through a year of extensive pre-production for greater detailing. Matheswaran recruited G. V. Prakash Kumar for composing the music, who had earlier worked with Dhanush in seven films. Shreyaas Krishna was hired to handle cinematography. However, he was replaced by Siddhartha Nuni during filming in mid-January 2023. Nagooran Ramachandran who was chosen for editing, had worked with the director on Rocky (2021) and Saani Kaayidham (2022) previously.
Matheswaran started writing the script without any actor in mind. He created the fictional character Captain Miller with the intention of making an action film on a grand scale. It was only halfway through the process that he had felt Dhanush would be perfect for that role. The latter would also sport three looks in the film. In late May 2022, Priyanka Arul Mohan was in talks to play the lead actress, while Sundeep Kishan was reported to play an important role that September. Both of their inclusion was confirmed on 19 and 17 September respectively by the production house. Nivedhithaa Sathish, John Kokken and Malayalam actor Sumesh Moor were announced as part of the cast the next day. Nassar, Daniel Balaji, Elango Kumaravel, Viji Chandrasekhar, Swayam Siddha, “Merku Thodarchi Malai” Antony and Bala Saravanan were also cast that month.
In October 2022, Matheswaran met Kannada actor Shiva Rajkumar in Bangalore and narrated the entire story of the film in 40 minutes. Shiva felt engaged by his narration and expressed his interest in being part of the film, marking his second Tamil film after Jailer (2023). The production company officially announced his inclusion on 8 December. On 31 January 2023, there were reports of Kaali Venkat being cast in the film. Speaking to DT Next that day, Venkat denied reports stating that they were from unofficial sources. However, he said that he had been in contact with Matheswaran but his role was not confirmed yet. Vijay Kumar was also reported by multiple sources to have been cast, on 24 February. Nevertheless, the next day, a source close to the production team clarified that he was not. In mid-March, Vinoth Kishan was announced as part of the cast. On 22 April, American actor Edward Sonnenblick was announced as part of the cast, marking his Tamil debut. In June 2023, Daniel Balaji left the project due to scheduling conflicts, caused by continuous delays to the start of filming his scenes.
Principal photography began on 21 September 2022, the same day as the film was launched, with a pooja ceremony at VM Studios in Chennai. After shooting in Chennai, the crew moved to Tirunelveli for the next schedule on the 27th. Sundeep Kishan, John Kokken, Nivedhithaa Sathish and Sumesh Moor joined Dhanush for this schedule. On 7 October, major shooting began in Tenkasi. A set was also erected in the forest region of the district for filming main portions. This schedule ended rapidly on the 10th. The following schedule had begun on the first of December and Shiva Rajkumar shot action sequences along with Dhanush. That schedule was completed by mid December and the team took a break to celebrate Christmas, New Year and Pongal. Filming resumed on 19 January 2023, after the month long break, in Courtallam, Tenkasi. Filming was conducted at the specially erected sets in the forest region there. Sundeep Kishan joined the film’s shoot in mid March. 80% of filming was completed by that month.
On 25th, a war sequence from the film’s set had been leaked and went viral, which featured the blasting of explosives. It was later taken down. A couple of days later, the director refuted claims that the team was shooting in Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KTMR) and stated that the film was being shot on private land and necessary permissions had been procured. Following the event of blasting explosives, the residents of Tenkasi filed a petition against the film production team for breaching regulations within the buffer zone of KMTR. As a result of persistent complaints from the local community that day, Tenkasi Collector Durai Ravichandran ordered a halt to the filming. Nevertheless, the production team took appropriate measures to ensure the seamless continuation of the shoot, and filming had since recommenced at the same location following a brief hiatus. Shiva concluded the filming of his respective scenes on 19 June 2023. Sundeep’s portions were wrapped up on 4 July; Kokken and Priyanka’s by 30 August.
G. V. Prakash Kumar is composing the soundtrack and film score in his seventh collaboration with Dhanush after Polladhavan (2007), Aadukalam (2011), Mayakkam Enna (2011), Asuran (2019), Maaran (2022) and Vaathi (2023); first with Matheswaran. The music label was acquired by Saregama. The first single “Killer Killer” was released on 22 November 2023.
Captain Miller was scheduled for a theatrical release on 15 December 2023 but was postponed to January 2024, coinciding with Pongal.
Lyca Productions holds the film’s overseas distribution rights, and KRG Studios for Karnataka.
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