Murugadoss at a special screening of Ghajini in 2008
25 September 1974
Ramya (m. 2005)
Murugadoss Arunasalam, commonly known by his stage name AR Murugadoss, is an Indian film director, producer, and screenwriter who predominantly works in the Tamil Film Industry. He is best known for his action Tamil films and Telugu films and for remaking them in Hindi cinema. This includes the Suriya, Asin Thottumkal-starrer Ghajini (2005) and its Hindi remake of the same name (2008) starring Aamir Khan and Asin Thottumkal who was the part of both the movies, 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 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 Kallakkurichi, Tamil Nadu. The initials "AR" refer to his father's name Arunasalam and were added after Murugadoss signed his first film, Dheena, in 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, which is Murugadoss' production venture.
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 Bollywood film to gross over ₹100 crore. There was a controversy that Ghajini was plagiarized from Hollywood film "Memento" His next Tamil film 7aum Arivu, was released on Diwali 2011 and was more successful outside India than in Tamil Nadu. 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 entered the Kollywood ₹100 crores club after Enthiran. Thuppakki collected over ₹180 crores as reported by producer. He also directed the Hindi remake of the film, Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty. In 2014, he was the writer and producer for the fantasy film Maan Karate starring Sivakarthikeyan which was directed by his former assistant Thirukumaran.
In 2014, he directed the action drama Kaththi starring Vijay and produced by Lyca Productions released on Diwali 2014 and emerged as one of the top-grossing films in Kollywood for 2014, collecting an estimated ₹131 crores. In 2016, he directed Akira starring Sonakshi Sinha. It is a remake of Tamil film Mouna Guru. Recently, he directed Spyder starring Mahesh Babu and Rakul Preet Singh. He joined with Vijay once again for the movie Sarkar which is produced by Sun Pictures Kalanithi Maran and it is releasing on 6 November 2018 for the Diwali. It released in over 3000 screens around the world. The movie has collected ₹270 crores worldwide where ₹146 crores were collected only in the state of Tamil Nadu itself and has emerged as a Mega BlockBuster of the year 2018. The film has surpassed the lifetime collections of Bollywood films like Alia Bhatt's Raazi and Akshay Kumar's Gold.
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