Richie (previously known as Santa Maria and Avargal) is an upcoming Indian Tamil classic neo noir action crime film directed by Gautham Ramachandran and written by Rakshit Shetty. A remake of the 2014 Kannada film Ulidavaru Kandanthe, the film stars Nivin Pauly, Natarajan Subramaniam, Shraddha Srinath and Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli in the lead roles. It began production during June 2016.
In 2012, Gautham Ramachandran met Nivin Pauly and the pair began discussing the idea of making a bilingual film. They developed several story lines but then chose to purchase the remake rights of Rakshit Shetty’s Kannada film Ulidavaru Kandanthe (2014), after being impressed with the script. Gautham began working on the script during June 2015 and revealed that nearly 40 drafts were made as he changed the screenplay of the original to fit in with the Tamil milieu. Nivin Pauly had also worked closely with Gautham on scripting the Tamil version, with the pair dropping their initial plans of making it a bilingual venture in Malayalam too. In April 2015, Gautham denied that Varalaxmi Sarathkumar had been signed on as the lead actress.
Natarajan Subramaniam joined the team to play another leading role, after the team had considered casting other actors including Sasikumar. Gautham revealed that Natarajan was eventually chosen because they wanted an actor who did not carry any particular image. Kannada actress Shraddha Srinath was signed on to play the leading female role opposite Nivin, while Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli and Elango Kumaravel were signed on to portray supporting roles as members of a fishermen community. Veteran producer G. K. Reddy, the father of actor Vishal, was signed on to play a supporting role in the film during the first schedule.