Murugadoss at a special screening of Ghajini in 2009
25 September 1974
Kallakurichi, Tamil Nadu, India
Arunasalam Murugadoss, commonly known with his stage name initials AR Murugadoss, is an Indian film director, producer, and screenwriter. He's best known for his action Tamil films and Telugu films and for remaking them in Hindi cinema. This includes the Suriya-starrer Ghajini (2005) and its Hindi remake Ghajini (2008) starring Aamir Khan, along with the Vijay-starrer Thuppakki (2012) and its Hindi remake Holiday (2014) starring Akshay Kumar. His 2002 Tamil film Ramanaa was remade in Hindi by director Krish as Gabbar Is Back (2015) starring Akshay Kumar as well. Murugadoss won the Filmfare Award for Best Director for his 2014 Tamil action-drama film Kaththi.
Murugadoss was born in Kallakurichi, Tamil Nadu. The initials "AR", denoting his father's name Arunasalam, were added after Murugadoss signed his first film Dheena (2001). Murugadoss currently resides in Virugambakkam, Chennai. Murugadoss had his schooling at the Government Higher Secondary School and studied BA in Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirapalli. His brother Dileepan made his acting debut with Vathikuchi (2013).
During his college days, Murugadoss was active in cultural events, particularly in mimicry and drawing. He subsequently became a cinephile watching up to seven films a week in his hometown and started writing jokes as well. After Ananda Vikatan published them, Murugadoss began to think of becoming a story writer. At Bharathidasan University he started to write sketch comedies and acted in them. After college he tried to join the Madras Film Institute, but was rejected. Nevertheless, Murugadoss stayed in Chennai in multiple functions. First he became an assistant writer of P. Kalaimani and wrote dialogues for the Tamil film Madurai Meenakshi. He became assistant director of Ratchagan (1997) for half of the film and continued as assistant script director for the Telugu film Kalusukundam Ra. Murugadoss then worked with S. J. Surya for the film Kushi.
S. J. Suryah recommended Murugadoss to Ajith Kumar for directing his debut film, Dheena. His next films were Ramana, Ghajini, and Stalin. His fifth film was Ghajini, which was a Hindi remake of his same-titled 2005 film and marked his Bollywood debut. It released on 25 December 2008 and became the first ever Indian film to gross over ₹100 crores. Murugadoss's next Tamil film 7aum Arivu, was released on Diwali 2011.The movie was collected only below 70 cr. Murugadoss signed a deal with Fox Star Studios to produce two Tamil films.
In 2012, he directed the action thriller Thuppakki, starring Vijay and produced by S. Dhanu released on Diwali 2012 to mostly positive reviews and was a huge commercial success. Thuppakki entered the ₹100 crore (US$16 million) mark at the boxoffice in just 12 days. He also directed the Hindi remake of the film, Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty which crossed over ₹100 crore (US$16 million) mark at box office In 2014, he was the writer and producer for the fantasy film Maan Karate starring Sivakarthikeyan which was directed by his former assistant Thirukumaran which became a "hit" at box office.
In 2014, he directed the action drama Kaththi starring Vijay and produced by Ayngaran International released on Diwali 2014 to mostly positive reviews and was a huge commercial success.Kaththi was a critically acclaimed film which showcased many issues facing farmers. The movie entered the ₹100 crore (US$16 million) elite at the box office in just 11 days.
- "AR Murugadoss: Tamil cinema's golden messenger". N Madhavan. Forbes India. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
- "AR Murugadoss — Man with the midas touch". SouthScope. Archived from the original on 1 November 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "Aamir's next director speaks". Rediff. 18 April 2006. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
- Seenivasan, Meera (22 February 2008). "Murugadoss upbeat over Mumbai entry". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 6 November 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
- "I could not even buy a cup of tea for my father with my money: AR Murugadoss". Priya Gupta, TNN. The Times of India. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
- "A.R.Murugadoss Biography". Sulekha. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "Thought of becoming a Naxalite in college days: Murugadoss". Kollytalk. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
-  DNA India, 24 Oct 2009.
-  The Times Of India, 26 feb 2013.
- http://ibnlive.in.com/news/tamil-film-thuppakki-enters-rs-100-crore club/307482-71-174.html
- "Akira is the title for AR Murugadoss-Sonakshi project?". Sify. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
- "Mahesh Babu-AR Murugdoss film heads to Ahmedabad for next schedule - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-11-03.