Atlee wrote and directed Theri, a 2016 Tamil-language action film produced by Kalaipuli S. Thanu underneath the brand V Creations. Vijay, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, alongside Amy Jackson play the major roles inside the movie. G. V. Prakash Kumar wrote the soundtrack for the movie, which was shot by George C. Williams and edited by Ruben. The plot follows a baker who hides his true identity as a former Deputy Commissioner of Police and is on a covert Ghost Protocol assignment organised by the Commissioner of Police.
This ‘Theri’ movie was Atlee’s second directorial effort, following Raja Rani (2013), whose popularity influenced Vijay to collaborate with him. Atlee wrote the script, that he described as an “emotional action picture,” and the project was officially announced in September 2014. The movie began shooting in Chennai in early July following post-production works as well as a formal launch event in June 2015. The movie was twice interrupted owing to a strike by the Film Employees Federation of South India and severe flooding in Chennai. Furthermore, due to bad meteorological circumstances in China, the team was forced to abandon their plan to film sequences there and instead chose to shoot in Bangkok.
Despite the challenges, the movie was finished in January 2016. It got mostly favourable reviews from critics, who appreciated the performances of the main characters while criticising the predictable plot. The movie was indeed a box office triumph, collecting a total of 160 crores (US$21 million) against a budget of 75 crores (US$10 million), making it the second highest-grossing Tamil and South Indian movie of 2016. Three SIIMA Awards, three IIFA Utsavam Awards, two Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards, and nine nominations at the 64th Filmfare Awards South were also given to the movie. Ratnakar was the Assamese adaptation of the movie.
Because of the commercial reasons and frequent re-runs on television networks, it is now regarded as one of Vijay’s most successful movies.
G. V. Prakash Kumar wrote the movie’s music and score. The film marks Prakash’s 50th production as a composer, as well as his second collaboration with Vijay and Atlee. Prakash began creating the songs in November 2014, shortly after being added to the project and finished them in January 2016.