Filmmaker Lokesh Kanagaraj is currently one of the leading names in Tamil cinema after he hit the high note with each of his films over the years, including his most recent directorial, Vikram, starring 'Ulaganayagan' Kamal Haasan in the lead role. With Vikram ending on a cliffhanger note connecting it to the Master director's 2019 film Kaithi starring Karthi, all sights are now set on what the filmmaker has in store for the much talked about 'Lokesh Cinematic Universe'. Recently, Lokesh Kanagaraj sat down for an interview with National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, the Editor-in-Chief of Galatta Plus, to discuss Vikram, Kaithi 2, and Vikram 3, including his plans for the 'Lokesh Cinematic Universe'. 

During the interview, the blockbuster filmmaker opened up about how he pitched the idea about the shared universe and said, "Kamal sir liked Kaithi a lot. So, when I first started narrating, I explained to him my strengths and what my 'home ground' is. That is when I suggested to him the idea of building a shared 'universe', which hasn't been done here by anybody, and since there is already a lot of love for Dilli (Karthi) and the other characters in Kaithi, the audience remembers them quite well. Because I decided to end Vikram with an open ending and also give a lead for the next film and introduce those characters here thereby establishing that this is my area to build my own universe. So, I asked Kamal sir if he can be the producer for such an idea and he immediately gave the nod to go forward and told me to do what I want to. He said that these are good ideas that can be made bigger in the future, which will take cinema to the next stage. After he gave his approval, I next thanked producers R. Mahendran sir and S. R. Prabhu sir because they both too had to agree to this. Since they hold the rights for Kaithi and Vikram respectively, I'm the only mutual name in the midst who will have to shuffle between them both and the process turned out to be easy because we all got along well with each other." 

Lokesh further explained, "We then held discussions explaining the story and how both films can be connected because we cannot use something that has an imprint of Karthi sir without letting him know and we had to explain the entire story of Vikram to him as well since Kaithi 2 will also be in the fray tomorrow. The same goes for Narain sir, whom we had to explain about how his character Bejoy appears in both films. For example, when Karthi sir moves the lorry steering wheel, there is a music note and I have to get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from that audio label, music composer Sam C. S. and only then a crossover is possible." He added, "Usually, if these films were made by the same production house, these issues would not exist. If you watch Vikram, there's a moment where we can hear Karthi sir singing in a voiceover and we needed his permission for that. All these aspects are new to our industry. After we got all the legal formalities completed, we proceeded with writing the story and we came up with the idea of introducing Suriya sir in the story as the character Rolex. So, when we started explaining the story to him, we had to discuss all these characters and the stories with him because we did not want it to be just another cameo. This entire process is because we wanted to do something new and Kamal sir, Mahendran sir and S. R. Prabhu sir decided to unite this to take cinema to the next level." 

Watch Lokesh Kanagaraj talk about the 'Lokesh Cinematic Universe' in the video below: