The film was partly inspired by events from the life of Simplify Deccan founder G. R. Gopinath. While the project was announced on mid-2018, under the working title Suriya 38, the official title Soorarai Pottru was announced on 13 April 2019. Principal photography began in April 2019, and ended that September. Filming took place across Madurai, Chennai, and Chandigarh. The film features music composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar, while cinematography and editing were handled by Niketh Bommireddy and Sathish Suriya respectively.
The theatrical release of the film was postponed several times due to post-production delays and the COVID-19 pandemic. The film was scheduled to release through Amazon Prime Video on 12 November 2020, coinciding with the eve of Deepawali festival, after being pushed back from the previously scheduled release date of 30 October 2020. It premiered on 11 November 2020 simultaneously with its dubbed versions in Kannada and Malayalam under the same title and in Telugu as Aakasam Nee Haddu Raa.
Nedumaaran is a former air force captain who wants to start an airline company that's affordable to all at a very low price. He derives his inspiration from Paresh Goswami the owner of Jaz airlines, who started his career as a middle-class man and then rose to great heights through his hard-work in airlines business. Nedumaaran meets Sundari through an alliance proposal and proposes to her but she initially rejects him as he has vested interests only in flights and airlines which arouses doubts in her mind if he could be the "husband stuff". Moreover she feels that her bakery business might get affected through this relationship. However when they meet a few years later, Nedumaaran manages to convince her and they both agree to support each other's interests and finally get married. In the meantime, Nedumaaran and his friends plan schemes to start their business and with great difficulty manage to get an appointment with Paresh. However, Nedumaaran gets disappointed after knowing the negative vested interests of Paresh that would hinder his growth as he considers Nedumaaran his rival. After facing stiff competition from other airline rivals including that of Paresh and after challenging all the hurdles set by them, Nedumaaran and his team of former air force captains finally manage to pull over the tide and launch their airline company- 'Deccan air'. They are being helped in this endeavour by their village people, their family members and by certain like minded good businessmen who are dedicated to do service for the society.
In April 2018, Sudha Kongara stated that she will be collaborating with Suriya for the director's next film, which is tentatively titled Suriya 38. The film will be produced by Suriya's production house, 2D Entertainment with Guneet Monga of Sikhya Entertainment as the co-producer. It was also announced that G. V. Prakash Kumar was selected to work on the film's music, collaborating with director Sudha and actor Suriya for the first time. The pre-production work of the film was kick started in June 2018. Niketh Bommireddy handles the film's cinematography. Meanwhile, Sathish Suriya who worked on director's Irudhi Suttru (2016) and Guru (2017) assigned as film editor and Jacki will handle the production designing. On 13 April 2019, the title was revealed as Soorarai Pottru with a poster release. Though it was initially reported that the film was a biopic of Simplify Deccan founder G. R. Gopinath, the team clarified it was only inspired by certain events from his life.
The film was scheduled to begin in November 2018. The film production began with a principal photography on 8 April 2019. It was revealed that Suriya will be experimenting a new look for his role in the film. The first schedule of the film was completed on 16 April 2019. The film was shot across certain parts of Tamil Nadu, during the first schedule. The second schedule of the film was kickstarted in April 2019, at Chandigarh, completing the first schedule of the film, and wrapped up on 6 June 2019. Suriya spent about ₹47 lakhs per day to rent an aircraft. The team shot almost a couple of weeks inside the aircraft, which indeed increased the budget of the film. Hollywood stuntman Greg Powell, roped in to choreograph the film's action sequences. Mohan Babu and Paresh Rawal joined the film's shoot in June 2019, the latter wrapped his portions in July 2019. A month long schedule took place in August 2019, with some important scenes needed to be canned in Madurai. After months of shooting, the film was successfully wrapped on 27 September 2019. Suriya, delivered gold coins to the film's crew members after completing the shoot.
The post-production activities kick started soon after completing the film's shoot. However was suspended in March 2020, following the COVID-19 pandemic. Later, the activities were resumed on 11 May 2020.
Soorarai Pottru was earlier scheduled to release on 20 December 2019, coinciding with Christmas, but was pushed to the occasion of Pongal, 15 January 2020. Due to delay in post-production activities, the film was postponed to 9 April 2020, then to 1 May 2020. However, the film's theatrical release was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an online interaction with his fans, Suriya said that he is eagerly waiting to catch the film on big screens.
On 22 August 2020, coinciding with the occasion of Vinayaga Chathurthi, Suriya was confirmed that the film will be digitally premiered through the OTT platform Amazon Prime Video on 30 October 2020, and the theatrical release was called off. This came under a disappointing response from the actor's fans, who wanted to watch this film in theatres, and requested Suriya to reconsider his decision. However, Suriya stated that he took his decision as a producer and not as an actor. The actor faced a similar controversy when he released his film Ponmagal Vandhal (2020), starring Jyothika, in Prime Video, receiving backlash from theatre owners and exhibitors, for his decision. Director Bharathiraja welcomed Suriya's move by releasing the film through OTT, stating that it is the right move for the current situation.
Soorarai Pottru is scheduled to be streamed in Tamil and Telugu with the Telugu version titled as Aakasam Nee Haddhu Ra. A dubbed Kannada version will also release. Rajasekar Pandian, the executive producer of 2D Entertainment stated that the film will be premiered across 200 countries. Suriya further announced that ₹5 crore from the film's profit, will be donated to the film industry workers and frontline workers who made necessary efforts to control the pandemic.
A week prior to the film's release date, on 21 October 2020, Suriya announced that the film will be postponed due to the delay over obtaining the NOC, from the Indian Air Force. The makers announced that the film will be released on 12 November 2020, coinciding with the eve of Diwali festival.
Soorarai Pottru received positive reviews from critics. A reviewer from The Hindu wrote, "A splendid Suriya shoulders this rollercoaster ride". Ranjani Krishnakumar from Firstpost gave the film a rating of 4.5/5, stating, "Sudha Kongara, Suriya tell a moving, poetic biopic without deifying the leading man". A reviewer from The Quint gave the film a rating of 3.5/5, writing, "Suriya soars in Sudha Kongara’s inspiring movie" and further writes that it is "A comeback for Suriya after the atrocious NGK and Kaappaan". M Suganth of The Times of India gave a rating of 3.5/5, stating, "Soorarai Pottru is an inspiring tale with a robust performance from Suriya".Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion South wrote "In terms of sheer professionalism, the film is the best thing that’s come on the southern OTT space." . A reviewer from The New Indian Express wrote, "Suriya delivers an ace performance in this soaring, sensitive drama".
As part of the film's promotional strategy, the production company announced that they will collaborate with SpiceJet as their official partner. The chairman of SpiceJet, Ajay Singh launched his company's Boeing 737 plane with a poster from the film branded on it on 13 February 2020, the same day where the second single of the film was launched inside on the company's Boeing 737 plane during mid-air flight. This will be the third time a passenger jet had been wrapped for advertising an Indian film, after AirAsia India for Kabali (2016) and SpiceJet for Darbar (2020). The making of Soorarai Pottru was released on 14 April 2020, on the occasion of Tamil New Year's Day. Suriya's dedication and hardwork for the film featured in the making video was appreciated by fans.